This submission argues that one of the essential elements to “profoundly transform economies to make them greener, fairer and more inclusive” is to review the current macroeconomic system, which itself is a continuation of the historical and ongoing consequence of colonialism: its impact on people and to embark on a radical global system change - one which places people and the planet before profits.
Around the world, health systems and health financing have been eroded, undermined and weakened by decades of neoliberalism, austerity, privatisation and structural adjustment programs and an emphasis on minimising State intervention and relying on a discourse of “personal responsibility.
The rising inequalities, made even starker due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, are a symptom of the failed economic system that prioritises profit over people and impoverishes people. It is very important to look at the impact of the erosion of public systems through privatisation and financialisation and resulting human rights violations and abuses. In particular, to delve deeper into why public health systems were woefully inadequate to deal with the Pandemic.
Joint SRI and national partner submissions on Uganda, Venezuela, and Sudan for the 40th Universal Periodic Review.
Digital inequalities were already high among girls, women and other marginalised groups before COVID-19 but as the pandemic led to an increased digitalisation of life, these disparities have increased dramatically. COVID-19 lockdowns have meant that girls are unable to go online at internet cafes, public Wi-Fi spots, schools or friends’ houses. In homes, access to technology is often shared with and monitored by family members, further limiting girls access to and use of technology.
With restricted or no access to the internet, girls are at risk of missing out on online education following school closures, suffer increased social exclusion, and they may not have access to reliable and relevant information about the pandemic and about sexual and reproductive health. The lack of digital access also had serious economic and health implications with the impossibility of working remotely and the maintained exposure to COVID-19.
In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for contributions, SRI made a submission locating the impact of COVID-19 on the right to sexual and reproductive health within a broader context of racial capitalism, patriarchy, colonialism, ableism and austerity.