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 initially estimated that up to 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide due to the pandemic, pushing millions of people into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty. It has since revised its estimate to 195 million job losses globally.

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.

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