COVID–19: The Social and Human Costs of Pandemic Response

A project of the Global Health Justice Partnership of the Yale Law and Public Health Schools and supported by Open Society Foundation

This project aims to document, examine, and influence in real-time, the policy decisions and actions related to the current coronavirus pandemic (COVID–19), especially in terms of liberties, freedoms and inequalities. The focus of this project is largely on the social costs of responses in law, policy and practice as they affect access to rights, protection, and health care and other interventions (testing, vaccines) for the most vulnerable and the marginalized. Populations and groups of interest include the displaced, detained, daily-wage and migrant laborers, and those that have been profiled and stigmatized on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religion.

The primary objective of the project is to learn from early experiences in pandemic response and management world-wide, identify points of transformation, and provide information that advocates and policy makers can use to guide evolving policies and response strategies towards greater equity, accountability and social justice.

Towards this end, this project will commission a series of commentaries from experts and activists in order to raise issues and foster public debate in real-time so that human security and welfare remains at the center of COVID–19 responses. Materials will be published on the GHJP website, as well as be used for publications in national and international venues such as op-eds, blog posts and webinars and audio posts.

The project is directed by Dr. Unni Karunakara with the assistance of Dr. Alice M. Miller. The project editor, co-editing the series with Unni Karunakara and Alice Miller, is Patralekha Chatterjee, a journalist/columnist specializing in global health and social policy and a Visiting Fellow at GHJP.

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