UN launches Law Lab to provide vital legal information on the COVID-19 response
Several United Nations agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), have recently launched a ‘COVID-19 Law Lab’ in partnership with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. The Lab aims to help countries establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic while adhering to international human rights standards.
The COVID-19 Law Lab is a database of laws that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic. It includes state of emergency declarations, quarantine measures, disease surveillance, legal measures relating to mask-wearing, social distancing, and access to medication and vaccines. The database will continue to grow as more countries and themes are added.
The Lab will also feature research on different legal frameworks for COVID-19, providing analyses focusing on the impacts of public health laws enacted to respond to the pandemic in the field of human rights, among others. Other international organisations, such as the Council of Europe, have also developed initiatives to address the impact on human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the context of the response to COVID-19.