• Press Release

Media advisory: AIUSA to Provide Workshops on Aspects of COVID-19 and Human Rights

March 23, 2020

Man walks into a hospital with a mask on his face to avoid Coronavirus
The entrance of the General Hospital of Mexico City, Mexico, on March 22, 2020 during the health crisis caused by COVID-19. (Photo by Cristian Leyva/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
As COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels around the world, Amnesty International USA is piloting workshops to media on the aspects of COVID-19 and human rights. While the focus has rightfully been on individual hygiene advice, social distancing, and bolstering health care and social support systems, now, more than ever, conversation must shed light on human solidarity. This is a time when we have the opportunity to help end demonization and anger – and move forward with empathy and kindness. Amnesty International USA is ramping up response efforts to advocate for those most at risk and working to ensure that all governments put human rights at the center of their responses to the outbreak.

The workshops will focus on COVID-19 and asylum, immigration, refugees, criminal justice, gun violence, and technology and surveillance, among other issues. Additional workshops may be organized to talk about COVID-19 regionally: in the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

The first workshop, titled Detention during COVID-19, will focus on criminal justice, immigration detention, and border response. The workshop will be held on Thursday, March 26, at 1:30PM EST. Please RSVP to Mariya Parodi, at [email protected] for call-in information. Those interested in receiving regular updates and briefing documents from Amnesty experts can also email [email protected] to be included on the COVID-19 distribution list. Further dates for workshops, as well as speakers, will be announced shortly. 

An e-learning course is also available for the general public, to learn about COVID-19 and human rights. Those interested can enroll here.  

WHAT: Detention during COVID-19

WHO: Denise Bell, Researcher for Refugee and Migrant Rights

Charanya Krishnaswami, Advocacy Director for the Americas 

Kristina Roth, Senior Program Officer for Criminal Justice Programs

WHEN: Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 1:30PM EST

HOW: RSVP to [email protected] 

More information: 

U.S. border closure is cruel, short-sighted, and opportunistic (news quote, March 20, 2020)

15 Groups Call on Lawmakers to Protect Privacy and Personal Data in COVID-19 Relief Packages (news statement, March 20, 2020)

Letter on the extension of public comments amid COVID-19 (advocacy, March 20, 2020)

Qatari migrant workers in labor camps at grave risk amid COVID-19 crisis (news statement, March 20, 2020) 

India: mitigate risks Of COVID-19 for the people of Jammu and Kashmir by immediately restoring full access to internet services (news statement, March 19, 2020)

Trump administration using coronavirus pandemic to justify discriminatory ban on asylum-seekers at southern border (news statement, March 18, 2020) 

Prisoner pardons in Iran welcome, but hundreds more who should be free remain jailed (news statement, March 18, 2020) 

Disturbing expulsion of U.S. journalists further stifles access to information amid COVID-19 crisis (news statement, March 18, 2020) 

States need to prioritize human rights in their responses to COVID-19 (news statement, March 17, 2020)

Human rights advocates with medical and legal expertise call on Governors, state health officials to direct reduction, release detainees to prevent coronavirus spread (news statement, March 17, 2020)