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PACE and Covid-19 |  Safeguarding democratic health in times of health crisis


"Pandemics generate fear and insecurity. It is precisely at such times that the values of human rights - based on fundamental principles of liberty, fairness, mutual support and human dignity - come into their own."

Rik Daems

President of the Parliamentary Assembly

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As cornerstone institutions of democracy, parliaments should be vigilant guardians of respect for the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights in times of crisis.
 
Through its numerous reports on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Parliamentary Assembly seeks to equip the parliaments of Council of Europe member, observer and partner States with the relevant tools and expertise to guarantee that the “red lines” set by the Convention are not crossed.
 
Since June 2020, the Assembly has adopted a series of reports addressing various aspects of the current health crisis, such as democratic and rights-based responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, the humanitarian consequences for migrants and refugees crisis or the ethical, legal and practical considerations of vaccines.
 
Several reports are being prepared and cover the impact of the pandemic on education and culture and on children's rights, the consequences of the global socio-economic crisis or the protection of the pillars of democracy in the current context.

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COVID-19 | Adopted reports


The Assembly has adopted a set of resolutions and recommendations, addressing various aspects of the current health crisis. These are:

Lessons for future public health emergencies from an effective and rights-based response to the Covid-19 pandemic
26 June 2020
Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development
Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL)

Democracies facing the Covid-19 pandemic
13 October 2020
Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
Ian Liddell-Grainger (United Kingdom, EC/DA)

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on human rights and rule of law

13 October 2020
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Vladimir Vardanyan (Armenia, EPP/CD)

Upholding human rights in times of crisis and pandemics: gender equality and non-discrimination
13 October 2020
Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination
Petra Stienen (Netherlands, ALDE)

Humanitarian consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for migrants and refugees
13 October 2020
Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC)

Towards a Covid-19 vaccine: ethical, legal and practical considerations
27 January 2021
Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development
Jennifer De Temmerman (France, ALDE)

COVID-19 | Reports under preparation


The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education and culture
Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
Constantinos Efstathiou (Cyprus, SOC)

Impact of Covid-19 on children´s rights
Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development
Baroness Massey (United Kingdom, SOC)

Overcoming the socio-economic crisis sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic
Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development
Andrej Hunko (Germany, SOC)

Taking into consideration the impact of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of minors and young adults
Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development
Simon Moutquin (Belgium, SOC)

Protecting the pillars of democracy during health crises
Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
Marietta Karamanli (France, SOC)

COVID-19 | PACE WORKING PROCEDURES adapted


Assembly's Standing Committee adopted modifications to the Rules of Procedure to enable the Assembly to hold remote or hybrid plenary sessions in exceptional circumstances.

The Bureau of the Assemly also approved a memorandum modifying the working procedures of committees in response to the exceptional situation of Covid-19 and authorising remote committee meetings

COVID-19 | The work of the council of europe


At the end of March Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić warned that Covid-19 restrictions had to be balanced with human rights. The Organisation has put together a coronavirus toolkit to guide governments as they make decisions, and opened up a human rights training programme.