The pandemic we experienced during the last one and a half years raised new questions concerning human rights and revealed the urgency of others that have already been discussed. In this year’s course we want to focus on current challenges to human rights such as:
First, the human right to healthcare worldwide is affected by the availability of vaccines against the COVID19 disease. Tensions within European countries concerning the vaccine distribution and acquisition already showed this problem. How could a fair distribution of vaccines be achieved? Should patents be restricted to enable vaccine production not only in the rich and developed countries but also in the developing countries?
Second, the protection of the right to health e.g. by lockdown measures, as we could see from discussions within European countries, can come into tension with other human rights like freedom of movement, the right to work etc. How should these tensions be solved within democracies? When it comes to freedom of speech and freedom of opinion, how should critique of measures against the pandemic that restrict some of our human rights be evaluated? Is there even a threat for democracy lurking around the corner as some might say? What role should experts play in legitimating reasons for different anti-pandemic measures?
Third, the problem of (global) poverty has sharpened during the pandemic. How are we going to deal with it if we are faced with shrinking and deteriorating resources? There are even more people in 2021 who want to migrate to European countries from outside Europe. How can their human rights to asylum, to freedom of movement, to work and healthcare be preserved within European countries when growing parts of the population there are developing a hostile attitude towards them? How can we deal with the tension within liberal democracies between the rights to political self-determination and to stability and security of their political system and the rights of potential migrants that are excluded from these countries?
The organizers invite researchers as well as human rights activists coming from all fields and disciplines, to send in abstracts (deadline: July 11, 2021, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) that deal with some of the problems and tensions indicated above. From the abstract, the relation to the course's topic should emerge clearly. The workshop will give room for students and young researchers to present their work in progress.