COVID-19 II: Understanding the Disparate Impact on Marginalized Communities


This event will be streamed at

From the ways in which governments have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a proxy to restrict rights and access to critical services, to the longstanding inequalities revealed by the health crisis, COVID-19 has had a wide-ranging impact around the world on human and civil rights, and social and economic justice. Vulnerable populations, including refugees, migrants, and internally displaced people, have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. While authoritarian regimes have exploited the crisis, including by embracing expansive disinformation campaigns, democracies have struggled to govern effectively. Within the context of the public health pandemic, other longstanding pandemics - poverty and racism - have been uncovered. Amidst a global financial crisis and rising unemployment, the disparate impact of COVID-19 has become even more apparent as streets around the world have filled with protesters demanding equality, accountability, and an end to police brutality and systemic racial injustice. This roundtable discussion brings together experts to examine the ways in which COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities, the disparate impact of these interrelated global pandemics, and ways in which international law can be utilized in response.

Co-sponsored by Blacks of the American Society of International Law (BASIL).


  • Tendayi Achiume, UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance
  • Amanda Klasing, Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Division
  • Matiangai Sirleaf, University of Maryland School of Law
  • Catherine Powell, Fordham University School of Law, Moderator

Date and Location

Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm