Putting Social Justice
at the
Heart of the COVID-19 Response.

The impact of Covid-19 is affecting every aspect of life, yet there are a number of
critical areas where we believe the impact has been greatest.  These issues are
informing how we respond:

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COVID-19 RESPONSE

COVID-19 is having a profound impact in South Africa and around the world.

We realize this is a tough time for everybody. The repercussions are being felt in every aspect of our lives. As we adjust to a world of social distancing to stay safe, our social, economic and public health systems are being challenged to respond in unprecedented ways.

The Government’s decision to initiate a lockdown is based on the best public health advice and hopefully will reduce the spread of the virus. Yet it is the poorest and most vulnerable in our society that have faced the heaviest burden to this response.

This pandemic has demonstrated the country’s stark inequalities.

“This pandemic has demonstrated the country’s stark inequalities and how they impact on almost every aspect of life.  For those living in crowded townships, staying at home and practising social distancing is almost impossible; for children who don’t have internet at home, online learning is a luxury; for those working in the informal or service economy, no movement means no income; and the uncertainty and confinement, leaving a heavy toll on mental well being.”

The outpouring of generosity through the Solidarity Fund has been heartening and demonstrates the commitment by many people to help those less fortunate than themselves.  The Fund is expected to play a critical role in providing immediate help to those who don’t have enough to eat every day and bolster health interventions.

“Our experience over the last decade in advocating for the dignity of all South Africans has taught us that to address the fall out of this crisis, we need to be committed to the longer-term struggle for social justice. This means we have to tackle the deep seated and structural factors that contribute to inequality and perpetuate vulnerability.”

Many of our partners are already working to monitor human rights abuses during the lock down, track and monitor service delivery, especially in the health sector and informal settlements, and respond to the economic fallout through humanitarian interventions as well as offer psychosocial support to communities.  The need is greater than ever so we must expand and grow these efforts.

Together, we can help to overcome the immediate impact of this global pandemic and turn this crisis into an opportunity to build a more just society where everyone has fair access to rights, resources and opportunities.

The Impact

The fallout on Human Rights and Social Justice.