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Roundtable Series: Reflections on a Pandemic 3 - The Human Experience: Rights and their Abuses during a Pandemic

Thursday 12 November 2020
Lipsius 019 and online. Numbers for Lipsius 019 are limited – a maximum of 45 audience members will be permitted.
Lipsius 0.19

Roundtable Series: Reflections on a Pandemic

In the third of our pandemic-related panels, academics from the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social Sciences will outline and consider the asymmetrical effects of the pandemic which have seen the social contract in many different geographies come under intense pressure. Scenes of public protest have become commonplace, as government after government has failed to muster a response that protects their people. What precisely have been the experiences and responses of ordinary people as they are subjected to human rights abuses or simply not factored into policy solutions?

Dr Stacey Links – The Asymmetrical Impacts of the Coronavirus and the Equality Agenda

Dr Links is a South African lecturer at Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. Her areas of specialisation are China-Africa relations (specifically the human rights dimension), critical international relations, and critical human rights approaches. She has also worked for human rights NGOs in Senegal, Haiti, and the Netherlands.

Prior to covid-19, human rights frameworks have predominantly focused on violations in the global 'South'. The covid-19 pandemic, however, has revealed the existence of serious challenges to human rights across a much wider spectrum of states, including within the global 'North.'  These include the 'blindspots' of systemic racism that limit the equal enjoyment of human rights within the developed (US, EU) as well as developing world (South Africa). This short talk will elucidate what covid-19 has underscored regarding systemic racism and its challenge to the achievement of equality. What do these cases have in common and where do they differ? It will reflect on whether human rights frameworks are viable to address systemic injustices of this nature and if not why not.

Dr Nicolas Blarel - Fallout from the Pandemic: the Experience of Indian Diasporas in the Gulf States

Dr Blarel is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University. He focuses on the international politics of South Asia and has written on India's relations with the Middle-East.

The global pandemic has intensified inequalities globally. In the Gulf states, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a particularly heavy toll on migrant labourers, especially coming from South Asia. In the case of immigrants who work as manual laborers and live in dormitory housing, the pandemic has heightened their concerns over unemployment, deportation, and infection. Over the past year, many have even chosen to return to India, leading some Indian states like Kerala to have to absorb this sudden return migration. In addition, xenophobia has been on the rise in Gulf countries as all residents are living in a state of heightened insecurity. I will discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted Indian diasporic communities, their employment, their everyday lives in the Gulf, and their ties to their home state, India.

Dr Matthew Frear – Coronavirus, Legitimacy, and the Last Dictator in Europe: Protests in Belarus

Dr Frear is Assistant Professor in Russian and Eurasian Politics at Leiden University. His research focuses on developments in Belarus and Ukraine and he provides insights for the policy community and international media. He has also participated in several OSCE election observation missions to the region.

After a quarter of a century consolidating authoritarian rule in Belarus, is the once resilient regime of President Lukashenka at risk of being swept away in the pandemic? Has the regime’s response to COVID-19 deprived it of its performance legitimacy, and contributed to citizens becoming unwilling to tolerate fraudulent claims of electoral legitimacy? How have the authorities, civic activists and street protestors in Belarus responded and adapted to the corona-times?

For in-person tickets, apply here

Numbers for Lipsius 019 are limited – a maximum of 45 audience members will be permitted.

In person tickets

For online participation, apply here

Password: Survival20Leiden

Online participation
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