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The State of Human Rights in the Arab Region in Light of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Introduction to the report

As if the Arab world was missing an additional factor to worsen the conditions of its residents, so the year 2020 began burdened with additional burdens imposed by the rapid spread of the Corona virus, those burdens that offered the enjoyment of human rights in many countries to a setback and a severe blow, and the Corona epidemic not only threatened public health, but rather stormed and wasted a lot It is one of the personal rights and freedoms that are protected even in the most powerful democracies, and it has been used and exploited in many countries to impose increasing restrictions, and to violate rights that were protected and inviolable.

This made the United Nations choose the "Covid-19" challenge as a main theme for International Human Rights Day 2020 under the slogan "Recover Better - Stand up for Human Rights", as an expression of the grave impact of the repercussions of the Corona pandemic on The global human rights situation.

The Corona pandemic has confirmed the world's need for solidarity to confront the crisis with its global and transnational nature, especially since the outbreak of the Corona epidemic and its threat to human life necessarily raises the right to health as one of the inherent human rights, which includes an integrated network of rights, which includes political, civil, economic, social and collective rights. And other human rights, both traditional and new. Here, it must be emphasized that the individual's right to health is guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides for the right to access health care, the prohibition of discrimination in the provision of medical services, and not to undergo medical treatment without the consent of the patient, and other important guarantees.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus has also led to a set of negative economic impacts in most countries, such as job loss, which raises the issue of economic and social rights, including the right to work or unemployment benefits until a new job is obtained, and many countries have begun to compensate people who They lost their jobs and joined the unemployed queue. Quarantine measures have clearly affected this range of human rights and other rights.

In addition to that the outbreak of the Coronavirus has led to the imposition of emergency states and curfews in a number of countries, and the isolation of certain cities or regions, and these measures are necessary and required to curb this rapid spread of the virus, which can be transmitted easily between individuals, but in the end it means that the epidemic Threatened personal freedoms of individuals who had to enter home quarantine. The outbreak of the new Corona virus has led to a major halt in public life, and work has been done in some countries according to exceptional laws, or new emergency laws have been enacted that have caused controversy, and the outbreak of the Corona virus has resulted in many countries postponing general elections in them, and this postponement It may, of course, imply a bundle of understandably negative effects on democracy.

Consequently, a great debate has arisen over the effects that the outbreak of the new Corona virus (Covid-19) has on human rights throughout the world, as human rights organizations, including the Foundation, fear Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights (Egypt)That the epidemic affects these rights negatively, which prompted the Foundation to present the fourth annual report, which came in four sections to highlight the human rights situation in the Arab world in light of the Corona pandemic,

As usual in its previous reports, Maat Foundation focuses on the position of Arab countries on international human rights mechanisms by monitoring and analyzing this relationship and to what extent Arab countries were during 2020 in light of the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the precautionary measures it requires capable of fulfilling their international obligations towards these mechanisms. Whether it is the Human Rights Council or the universal periodic review mechanism, as well as contractual committees and special procedures, especially that Arab countries have voluntarily pledged to abide by the measures imposed by these mechanisms in order to promote human rights.

In the second section, the report presented an analysis of the indicators of Arab countries ’achievement towards achieving sustainable development goals in order to improve life in general for their citizens and whether the Corona pandemic affected the Arab countries’ fulfillment of their obligations. The report also paid special attention to the human rights conditions in countries experiencing armed conflicts or those experiencing transitional situations and internal disturbances, as the Palestinians are still the daily target of grave violations committed by the brutal Israeli occupation authorities, breaking all international conventions and norms. Also, after ten years of violations, Syria is still bleeding from the conflict it is witnessing between internal and external forces that only Syrian civilians pay for, and Yemeni civilians who suffer from the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history are equal with them. The other, like Iraq, is an arena for a proxy war between all those greedy for its wealth. Just as Iraq opened this year with skirmishes between Iran and the United States of America, Turkey and Russia continue to fight in Libya without any regard for any rights of the Libyan people. Not to mention that the situation in Somalia does not change. Violations are daily without any hope for their immediate improvement. The report also sheds light on the impact of the Corona pandemic on the activity of terrorist groups in the Arab region through its monitoring and analysis of the activities of these groups during 2020 and the measures taken by Arab countries at the level of joint Arab action or at the level of bilateral relations or their special measures in combating terrorism.

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