Waive Intellectual Property Rights to Beat Covid-19: Daily Brief

Plus: seeking justice over enforced disappearances in Iraq; rights concerns in Ethiopia's Tigray crisis; UK's welcome step against deforestation; EU should bring human rights to the top of its Central Asia agenda; F1's Lewis Hamilton stands up for human rights; and learn how #MeToo is turning into law.

Waving intellectual property rights that limit the production of and access to Covid-19 vaccines that are found to be safe and effective is crucial to ensure such medical products can be made widely available quickly at affordable prices.

Iraqi authorities must fulfill a commitment to locate victims of enforced disappearance and ensure that those responsible are held accountable. Human Rights Watch has been documenting enforced disappearances across Iraq for decades, including a 2018 report about 78 men and boys forcibly disappeared between April 2014 and October 2017.

Early on November 4, the Ethiopian government began military operations in Tigray, one of the country’s semi-autonomous regions. Amid credible reports of increasing casualties, the authorities on both sides should facilitate access for humanitarian groups, stop interrupting essential services, and immediately restore communication services in the region.

A new Amnesty International report documents how Belgian care homes “abandoned” older people to die during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, the UK environment minister announced it would introduce a bill requiring businesses to eliminate illegal deforestation from their supply chains. This is a welcome step, but the UK should broaden the scope of the legislation and require businesses to commit to zero deforestation in their supply chains, and to protect the rights of communities and workers impacted by their operations.

The European Union should establish clear consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals.

F1 racer Lewis Hamilton, who has used his public figure to mainstream anti-racist messages this season, has won the Turkish Grand Prix and shown how public figures can help denounce rights abuses globally: “We realise we’ve got to face and not ignore the human rights issues in the countries that we go to, not just 20 years, 30 years from now, but now.” 

And learn about how #MeToo is turning into law in today's webinar.