Rights Protection of Vulnerable Groups in the Pandemic

On 23 May Wuhan University Institute for Human Rights Studies, China, hosted the webinar on the Rights Protection of Vulnerable Groups in the Pandemic, as a part of the Global Epidemic Prevention & Control and Human Rights Protection Conference Series. Rune Halvorsen from OsloMet gave the keynote talk Social Consequences of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Europe – How to Reduce Risk of Poverty and Social Exclusion.

The webinar gained attention from a large number of human rights-campaign social media, academic journals, newspapers, and magazines, and was live on both Zoom and Tencent Meeting.

In the key note Rune Halvorsen argued that the Covid-19 crisis reminds us about the importance of having a sustainable and well-functioning social protection system to avoid poverty and promote social cohesion within and across European countries. To achieve this, we will need more creativity, policy learning and innovation across countries and across continents.

Rune Halvorsen also argued that a one-sided focus on people’s entitlement to social protection will not be enough. We are in need of forward-looking social protection strategies that enable people to sustain and advance their well-being in face of challenges to it. Society needs active citizens who are not only able to participate in the labour market and living a decent life in accordance with the prevailing standards in society. For society to be able to face future crisis, people must be involved in decision making processes of importance to the themselves, the community and society as a whole.