University of Miami International and Comparative Law Review


The region of the Americas is facing unprecedented humanitarian and social challenges as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, the regional institutions need to deliver rapid and effective responses to the region’s inhabitants. In this way, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter IACHR or the Commission) has aimed to deliver a timely answer so that States, the Civil Society, and stakeholders can assure individuals that the treatment of the pandemic incorporates a human rights approach from the Inter-American System’s framework. The purpose of this work will be to give a brief takeaway on how the IACHR has responded to those challenges and how it has assessed the differentiated, intersectional, and gender-unequal impacts this health crisis has had on human rights, particularly on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights (hereinafter ESCER).
This paper will focus on the rights of people and groups who, because of the special state of vulnerability they are in, have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. It will discuss how the Commission—specially supported by the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights (REDESCA)—has responded to the challenges and incidents brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has delivered recommendations to States regarding women, indigenous people, people living in poverty and extreme poverty, people of African descent, LGBTI people, older people, persons with disabilities, and people who are being deprived of liberty. Finally, the article will explore the future steps that need to be taken to increase the protection of human rights in other global crises.