Newsletter May 2020

EFPA Board Human Rights and Psychology Newsletter


Year 4 Edition 5 – May 2020

The 5th edition of the 2020 Newsletter of the EFPA Board Human Rights and Psychology, is mainly dedicated to Human rights in a time of Covid-19.


Human rights in a time of Corona


It is mistaken to conceive of COVID-19 principally as a threat whose eradication necessarily requires rights to be sacrificed. Rather, human rights standards and principles offer a means of transparently balancing competing interests and priorities in the cauldron of COVID-19 decision-making – and rights-respecting measures which secure public confidence are likely to be more effective and sustainable over time than arbitrary or repressive ones. Donald, Alice; Leach, Philip: Human Rights – The Essential Frame of Reference in the Global Response to COVID-19, Verfassungs Blog, 2020/5/12.


The IFHV and Verfassungsblog are bringing together internationally recognized experts in a three-part online discussion series to reflect on the unprecedented constitutional challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses to states world-wide, and ways to address them.

Tune in to our live stream on on 12, 19 and 26 May 2020.

Read: See:

Nobody understands the impact COVID-19 has on the lives of stateless people better than stateless people themselves. We believe responses to the pandemic must be developed with and informed by communities affected by statelessness. In May 2020, activists and community representatives from across Europe came together through the support of the European Network on Statelessness', in a series of online meetings to discuss the consequences of COVID-19 and response measures on stateless people in Europe. The group also explored what needs to be done to support and protect stateless people both during and after the pandemic. 

The discussions, which took place over four days, have been set down in a position paper, which aims to provide a first step in prioritising and reflecting the views and experiences of people affected by statelessnessin decision-making during COVID-19 and beyond. 

View the position paper

  • ENS: What happens to people with no nationality in a public health crisis? (doc 1)

The dark side of social movements: social identity, non-conformity, and the lure of conspiracy theories. Current Opinion in Psychology. Sternisko, A., Cichocka, A. & Van Bavel, J. J. (in press).

Data protection, privacy and new technologies, Asylum, migration and borders, Equality, non-discrimination and racism, Justice, victims’ rights and judicial cooperation

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to interrupt everyday life in the EU in unprecedented ways. But the way it affects our societies is shifting. As governments gradually lift some of the measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19, new fundamental rights concerns arise: how to ensure that the rights to life and health are upheld as daily life transitions to a ‘new normal’. This Bulletin looks at declarations of states of emergency, or equivalent, and how they came under scrutiny. It considers the impact on fundamental rights in important areas of daily life, and includes a thematic focus on the processing of users’ data to help contain COVID-19, particularly by contact-tracing apps. It covers the period 21 March – 30 April 2020.


Vulnerable groups

Disability rights

  •  Coronavirus: Disabled and vulnerable patients must be involved in treatment decisions including resuscitation, says NHS England. In a joint statement with disabled rights campaigner and member of the House of Lords, Baroness Jane Campbell, NHS England said the Covid-19 virus and its impact on the NHS did not change the position for vulnerable patients that decisions must be made on an individualised basis. (The Independent)
  • Out of sight, out of mind. For people with dementia, the coronavirus pandemic is a nightmare. (The Economist)
  • UNHRHC, COVID-19: Bachelet urges States to take extra steps to include people with disabilities. Targeted measures are needed to address the disproportionate risks faced by persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the UN Human Rights Office to publish a guidance note for States and other stakeholders on COVID-19 and the human rights of persons with disabilities. “People with disabilities not only face greater risks from COVID-19, they also are disproportionately affected by response measures, including lockdowns. To address this double risk, we need to be engaging persons with disabilities in the COVID-19 response, and adapting plans to address their needs,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.

Forced displacement/ Refugees/ Indigenous people


Rohingya refugees stand in line to collect food aid at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh [Shafiqur Rahman/AP]


Covid-19 and discrimination


Covid-19 and wealth disparities


Actions and initiatives:


EFPA Board Human Rights and Psychology

  • Human rights education for psychologists. Editors: Polli Hagenaars, Marlena Plavsic, Nora Sveaass, Uli Wagner, Tony Wainwright.



  • weekly 11 May-1 June (doc 2)
  • Relocating unaccompanied children: applying good practices to future schemes. May 2020. In recent years, thousands of girls and boys have reached Europe without their parents, and sought international protection. Many of them experienced violence, abuse and neglect in their home countries, and while in transit. They have the right to be protected in line with the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the European Convention on Human Rights, and European Union law. This report explores the challenges and good practices gathered in the implementation of such relocation programmes. Based on information FRA collected in 10 EU Member States, it aims to help national authorities to support the relocation of unaccompanied children by taking measures that are fully compliant with their rights and able to be implemented.


European institutions, EIUC, CoE, CPT, IOM, ENS, ECCHR, EUPHA, RAFTO 

In these volatile times, it is difficult to describe one’s own work over the past year. So much is happening. Yesterday’s analyses already seem outdated today. In an age of sometimes false, and often too much information, it is difficult for human rights organizations to decide how much time to devote to which of our world’s manifold problems. It is even more challenging to determine which topics the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights can and should tackle through legal means.

UN News / WHO

  • UN Weekly 17 April 2020 (doc 4)
  • UN Weekly 1 May 2020 (doc 5)
  • Welcome to the website of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Olivier De Schutter. Navigate the menu above to learn more about the work of the Special Rapporteur as he investigates and advises on human rights and poverty around the world. Sign up to receive the mandate newsletter here. 


Scholars at Risk (SAR) / NCH

  • AMR April 24-30 (doc 6)
  • AMR May 15-21 (doc 7)



  • FRA: A long way to go for LGBTI equality.

This report presents select findings from FRA’s 2019 survey on LGBTI people in the EU and North Macedonia and Serbia. With almost 140,000 participants, it is the largest survey of its kind. It follows the agency’s first survey on LGBT people in the EU, conducted in 2012. The new survey results show little progress over the past seven years.

Does hope or fear prevail among Europe’s LGBTI people? Read and listen to FRA’s director Michael O’Flaherty (doc 8)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for people everywhere to support the right to live free and equal, in line with his message for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, observed on Sunday. "Already facing bias, attacks and murder simply for who they are or whom they love, many LGBTI people are experiencing heightened stigma as a result of the virus, as well as new obstacles when seeking health care," said. Mr. Guterres.


Child rights

Women’s rights


Conferences, Education, Grants, and Events


Monday 8 June 2020, 9.30 – 17.30 CET. Registration is free and open to all.

Ten European partner organizations have launched an ambitious new initiative to support researchers at risk. The initiative—Inspireurope—is funded under the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and coordinated by Scholars at Risk Europe at Maynooth University, Ireland. Inspireurope forges a coordinated, cross-sectoral, Europe-wide alliance for researchers at risk. 

Inspireurope begins from the view that excellence in research depends upon open scientific debate, and is driven by a multiplicity of ideas, people and perspectives. When researchers are at risk, and excluded from participating in the global research circuit, whether due to discrimination, persecution, suffering or violence, not only are individual lives and careers at risk; the quality, the very future of research is also at stake.

The Forum will be opened by Frédérique Vidal, French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and aims to facilitate exchange between key actors in research and innovation in Europe, including individual researchers, higher education networks, research funding agencies, EU and other policy makers in Europe.

Speakers and participants will together explore today's challenges and opportunities in Europe for researchers at risk, including the implications of the global health pandemic on the lives and work of researchers at risk.

Sessions will be recorded and made available on the InSPIREurope website.