Webinar series: The state of human rights after the pandemic

Economic & Social Rights, Migration and Asylum, Shrinking Space for Civil Society, Women’s rights and gender justice

Read in:  French  Arabic 

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown global structural, social, economic, and humanitarian inequalities into sharp focus. Existing issues such as migrant’s rights, access to healthcare, violence against women and discrimination – already chronically under-addressed and under-funded by states worldwide – have been exacerbated by responses to the pandemic (or the lack of response). Civil society organisations are asking for the gravity of the situation to be recognised. They are calling for governments to respond by making meaningful structural changes in the long-term.

In this series of four webinars, EuroMed Rights will invite civil society experts to highlight how the current crisis has impacted the enjoyment of human rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region. And most importantly, as the region learns to live with the consequences of this crisis, we will ask: what next for human rights?

The shadow pandemic of violence against women  

This webinar is now over. Click here to see the video (in French).

The COVID-19 pandemic marked a rise in domestic violence and violence against women. How have states across the EU and the MENA region reacted? In an ex-post and irregular manner.  

Deteriorated economic, political and social contexts increase the risk of violence for women. Asylum-seeking women in detention camps are in this case. And in this regard, the poor record of Euro-Mediterranean States can amount to state violence against women. 

 Women’s rights organisations, who provide protection, counselling and care for women victims had to intensify their efforts, think outside the box and take risks. They did so despite a sometimes-challenging political context and a chronically low budget. 

 In this webinar, we will look at the lessons which can be learnt from the crisis with regard to violence against women. How can all women be protected more effectively? Who should ensure an effective system of prevention and protection? And what responsibilities do States have? 

Speakers will include: Amina Lotfi from the Democratic Association of Moroccan WomenYouad Ben Rejeb from the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, Dominique Guillien-Isenman from the French National Federation for Solidarity towards Women and Anitta Kynsilehto from the Peace Research Institute of Tampere University in Finland. Moderated by Lucille Griffon, Women’s Rights and Gender Justice officer at EuroMed Rights.

Will the second wave of the crisis be social?

This webinar is now over. Click here to see video (in English).

The current public health crisis has revealed our societies’ vulnerabilities and public sectors’ weaknesses. Patchy social safety nets, and underfunded and exclusive healthcare services are the results of years of austerity and economic reform programmes. COVID-19 exacerbated the detrimental impacts of these economic policies on certain groups. As a result, some groups in the Euro-Mediterranean region have been hit harder than others and are likely to be further disadvantaged in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The pandemic is paving the path for a new economic crisis. How can we make sure not to repeat past mistakes, in particular the detrimental human rights impacts following the 2008 crisis?

Protests calling for social justice, interrupted due to the public health crisis, are now resuming across the Mediterranean: what are and what will be the risks faced by movements calling for more social justice post-COVID-19?

Moderator: Messaoud Romdhani, EuroMed Rights


  • Mahinour El-Badrawi, Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)
  • Josiane Noun, Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH)
  • Maria Pia Sacco, International Bar Association (IBA)
  • Mounir Hassine, Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES)

COVID-19, migrants’ rights and governments’ responses in the EuroMediterranean region 

This webinar is now over. Click here to see the video (in English).

On both sides of the Mediterranean, the crisis has shown the urgency of regularising the legal and administrative status of all migrants, asylum seekers and refugees and ensure full access to their social rights, including the right to adequate health care, housing and social security.  

Given the limited or entirely absent government responses, and the sole focus on economic recovery and the labour market in many instances, civil society organisations and other national and international actors have launched numerous appeals, calls, campaigns and concrete measures for the regularisation and social protection of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees across the Euro-Mediterranean region. 

Moderator: Radostina Pavlova – Center for Legal Aid Voice in Bulgaria


  • Linda Alkalash – Tamkeen Jordan
  • Sergio Bassoli – Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL)
  • Romdhane Ben Amor – Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES)
  • Bettina Gambert, UNHCR Morocco

Who cares: women at the heart of COVID-19 response 

This webinar is now over. Click here to see the video (in English).

At the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, women carried the brunt of the care labour on their shoulders, either paid as nurses and doctors or unpaid through family responsibilities. In the healthcare sector worldwide70% of the workers are women. Before the lockdown, women were already spending on average 4.1 hours more than men per day on domestic choresThe lockdown has inevitably worsened this situation. 

In the EuroMediterranean region, our economic systems already benefit greatly from the under-paid or unpaid care work of women. Furthermore, in countries where better-off families delegate care work to domestic care workers, mostly migrant women or women of colour, the COVID-19 crisis has had a severe impact with numerous lay-offs without any safety nets. 

In this webinar, we will draw the lessons which can be learnt from this crisis regarding the complex issue of care labour and the economy. What responses can be envisaged to ensure care is valued and shared equally by all? 

Moderation: EuroMed Rights


– Janet Veitch / Women’s Budget Group, UK
– Susana Pavlou/ Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies, Cyprus
– Nabil Abdo / Oxfam International, MENA office