Calls to create an International Pandemic Treaty

Date: 13th May 2021
Category: COVID-19

Graphic of a globe with a mask on

Global leaders are calling for a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response, which would protect human rights in future pandemics.

According to global leaders, the treaty would foster a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience. It would be rooted in the constitution of the World Health Organization and create a more robust global health architecture to protect future generations and their rights concerning:

  • The right to health – Ensuring everyone, young to old benefits from the scientific progress to protect physical and mental health.
  • Employment rights - Protecting the physical security of health care workers, community health workers and other essential workers, and respect their right to form and join trade unions.
  • Combat gender inequalities – COVID-19 has had and continues to have a disproportionate impact on women as healthcare professionals, educators, and caregivers, as well as on transgender people and sex workers. The proposal for a new international treaty would prioritise social protection for women and girls and focus on gender-based violence.
  • Uphold rights in the digital age— Providing universal access to the internet and digital technology, while upholding rights to digital privacy and non-discrimination, and promoting strict regulation of use of health data. 
  • Transparency and trust— States would publish detailed information about budgets, expenditures, and procurement on a live portal; as well as the evidence basis for restrictive measures such as lockdowns; and for diagnostics for vaccine approvals.

Find out more about this treaty proposal here.