COVID-induced inequities demand ‘New Social Contract’ says rights chief

COVID-19 has “laid bare deep structural inequalities” everywhere, further widening a multitude of gaps, both within and between countries, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights told a major urban policy event in South Korea on Thursday.

Under the theme of Human Rights in Times of Challenge: A New Social Contract, rights chief Michelle Bachelet informed the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) in Gwangju, that poverty, inequalities and discrimination have grown wider and resulted in a loss of trust between citizens and their leaders.

“But even before, demonstrations in many parts of the world had already been alerting us that without upholding social and economic rights, societies were in danger”, she said in her video message.

The voice of local governments needs to be heard at national and international levels”, she said, while adding that their voices “will make multilateralism stronger”.

“I call on all of you in this Forum to work together towards building a strong community of local governments that support each other in solidarity and fight for human rights”, she concluded. More