COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak

Woman wearing face mask on public transport

Since late 2019, an outbreak of the viral disease COVID-19 (commonly referred to as Coronavirus) - first identified in Wuhan, China - has spread across the globe, impacting hundreds of thousands of people. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak had reached the level of a global pandemic.

Besides the health implications of the disease, which has a mortality rate in excess of 3% according to the World Health Organization, the outbreak has also been accompanied by waves of misinformation, fears regarding increased government surveillance, factory shutdowns as disruption ripples back up supply chains and fears for the protection of gig economy workers. The International Labour Organization estimates that up to 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide due to the pandemic, pushing millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty. 

This In Depth Area will be updated with the latest news on the implications of the outbreak for business and human rights. Based on emerging themes of the crisis, we will also update the below sub-sections of this In Depth Area as the situation continues to unfold.

This In Depth Area is also available in French, German, PortugueseSpanishSimplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and Russian.

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31 March 2020

Poland: Over 2/3 of firms plan coronavirus-related job cuts, survey finds

Author: Reuters (UK)

Over Two-Thirds of Polish Firms Plan Coronavirus-Related Job Cuts: Survey, 26 March 2020...

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31 March 2020

UK: Supermarkets urged to ensure greater health & safety protections for staff during COVID-19

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31 March 2020

UK: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain to sue the government for not supporting precarious workers over COVID-19

Author: Mohamed Elmaazi, Sputnik International (Russia)

"UK Government Faces Lawsuit Over 'Failure' to Provide COVID-19 Support for Precarious Workers", 24 March 2020...

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31 March 2020

UNICEF, ILO & UN Women publish ‘family-friendly’ recommendations for employers during COVID-19

Author: UNICEF, ILO and UN Women

“Family-friendly policies and other good workplace practices in the context of COVID-19: key steps employers can take”, 27 March 2020...

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31 March 2020

USA: Uber and Lyft sued for endangering the public during COVID-19 crisis

Author: Ethan Baron, SiliconValley.com (USA)

"Coronavirus: Lawsuits claim Uber and Lyft endangering public", 13 March 2020...

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30 March 2020

Commentary: Australia's $130 billion wage subsidy is the best way to cushion from the economic & social costs of COVID-19

Author: Danielle Wood & Brendan Coates, ABC News

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30 March 2020
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La mayoría de clínicas en la costa caribe cuentan con recursos limitados para su funcionamiento, por lo que en muchos casos no han podido cumplir con sus obligaciones en materia de servicios públicos. Sin embargo, frente a situaciones de emergencia...

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30 March 2020

As pandemic restricts travel and work, internet restrictions block Gulf migrant workers from contacting families

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30 March 2020

Bahrain: Govt. urges companies to ensure workers can socially distance within labour accommodation

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30 March 2020

Cambodia & Southeast Asia: Thousands of migrant workers lose their job as Thailand's economy shuts down due to Thai govt.'s measures to curb Covid-19 spread

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