Upholding human rights enables a society to put people at the center of all policymaking – political, economic and social – thus protecting the life and dignity of the human person whatever its condition or stage of development. In the year 2020, the world entered into the novel coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented crisis that impacts all aspects of life and presents new threats to upholding human rights.
"Human rights are key in shaping the pandemic response, both for the public health emergency and the broader impact on people’s lives and livelihoods," said UN Secretary General António Guterres in his report Covid-19 and Human Rights, released in April 2020. "Human rights put people centre-stage. Responses that are shaped by and respect human rights result in better outcomes in beating the pandemic, ensuring healthcare for everyone and preserving human dignity. But they also focus our attention on who is suffering most, why, and what can be done about it. They prepare the ground now for emerging from this crisis with more equitable and sustainable societies, development and peace."
To understand what our faith teaches on human rights, see "Catholic Social Teaching and Human Rights."
To learn more about the Maryknoll mission experience honoring and protecting human rights and the life and dignity of the human person, especially those who are poor and vulnerable, read Maryknoll’s 100 Years of Mission.
To watch a 30-minute webinar on human rights advocacy today, watch, "Human Rights Advocacy and the Legacy of Sr. Dianna Ortiz." You will also find a corresponding page of resources on current human rights issues.
To learn more about new threats to human rights during the pandemic, see our articles:
- Upholding Human Rights During the Pandemic (featured in Maryknoll Magazine)
- A "David and Goliath" Story of Water Defenders (featured in Maryknoll Magazine)
- Take Action: Ask Congress to Protect Human Rights During the Pandemic
- COVID-19 and Human Rights Defenders
- COVID-19 Exposes Repression in Latin America
- Zimbabwe Bishops Protect Human Rights
- Protecting Asylum Seekers During COVID-19
- COVID-19 and Global Development
To learn more about international issues related to human rights for voters to consider in the 2020 elections, visit Faithful Voting and Global Concerns, our series that examines U.S. policy and Church teaching on eight topics: nuclear disarmament, refugees, climate change, sanctions, immigration, trade, peacebuilding, and food security.