On 13 May 2020, SERI researcher Tiffany Ebrahim participated in New York University (NYU) Bernstein’s Institute for Human Rights webinar entitled, “Mitigating COVID-19 & Protecting Human Rights in the Global South”.
Ebrahim’s presentation discussed the vulnerability of informal settlements to COVID-19 and contextualised why the government’s blanket response of de-densification runs the risk of permanently displacing residents from their homes and livelihood opportunities. In her presentation, she drew and expanded on the Civil Society Organisation’s (CSOs) submission to the Department of Human Settlements made in April 2020, which proposes in situ upgrading as an appropriate and sustainable informal settlement intervention in the context of COVID-19.
The webinar was facilitated by Executive Director of NYU Bernstein’s Institute for Human Rights, Sukti Dhital. The panel explored the devastating consequences of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to the pandemic from a global south perspective – ranging from the rise in forced evictions, to the downfall of informal economies, and increased hunger and malnutrition. Ebrahim was joined on the panel by Jayshree Satpute (Human Rights Lawyer and Cofounder of Nazdeek in India), and Paul Christian Namphy (National Coordinator for Infectious Disease, DINEPA in Haiti).
Read the full CSO submission to the Department of Human Settlements here.