COVID-19 and the wide range of emergency measures that governments and policy makers have introduced in the name of fighting the pandemic have shaped our lives over the past year and a half. The thirteenth edition of the European Yearbook on Human Rights takes the opportunity to reflect on the impact that COVID-19 has had on human rights and to assess the proportionality and necessity of state responses to the pandemic in order to ensure a resilient human rights system in the future. Renowned scholars, emerging voices and practitioners provide a cross-section of human rights issues in their contributions. These issues range from the underlying considerations of justice and equality and access to resources, to the protection of core human rights during the pandemic, such as the right to health, the right to hold democratic elections and the protection of vulnerable groups, including the elderly, persons with disabilities and migrants.
In this way, the European Yearbook on Human Rights 2021 raises awareness of the complexities of human rights protection during a pandemic and beyond, and stimulates debate and further research in the field in order to ensure that future responses to crises not only pay respect to human rights, but are rooted in them.
With a foreword by Dunja Mijatović and contributions by Lorenzo Acconciamessa, Kathryn Allinson, Mathilde Bénard, Christina Binder, Christian Breitler, Nicolette Busuttil, Andrea Broderick, Philip Czech, Danilo Ćurčić, Carmelo Danisi, Alan Desmond, Pietro de Perini, Paolo De Stefani, Adam Drnovsky, Carinne Elion-Valter, Silvia Favalli, Elspeth Guild, Lisa Heschl, Eirik Holmøyvik, Karin Lukas, Marco Mascia, Markus Möstl, Manfred Nowak, Claire Methven O’Brien, Gerd Oberleitner, Marina Pantelić, Aphrodite Papachristodoulou, Cristina Pugnale, Sabrina Rau, Virginie Rouas, Vlada Šahović, Chiara Scissa, Dragana Stöckel, Heidi Suorsa, Wanda Tiefenbacher, Martin Traussnigg, Volker Türk and Silvia Venier.
Philip Czech is a researcher at the Austrian Institute for Human Rights, University of Salzburg and editor of the Newsletter Menschenrechte.
Lisa Heschl is a post-doctoral research and teaching fellow at the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, University of Graz.
Karin Lukas is a senior researcher and Head of Department at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.
Manfred Nowak is Secretary General of the Global Campus of Human Rights, Venice and Professor of Human Rights, University of Vienna.
Gerd Oberleitner is UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security and Director of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, University of Graz.