A new report ‘Global Democracy and Covid-19: Upgrading International Support’ highlights how some governments are using the current public health crisis to further curtail democratic activities and provides recommendations to policy-makers and civil society to counter-act the negative impacts of Covid-19 on democracy.
The report identifies the threats to democracy as many governments are restricting human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of assembly and of movement, under the guise of battling the pandemic. It highlights how some governments are interrupting elections, clamping down on political opponents, discriminating against minority and vulnerable groups, censoring media and increasing disinformation and digital surveillance.
The report notes that the pandemic has distinctive political implications across different regimes and it calls for a more practical policy effort to ensure that democratic norms are defended in tailored ways in order to advance and uphold democratic rights.
The report offers five concrete recommendations for how governments and international organisations can respond to the Covid-19 crisis.