The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented and devastating socio-economic impacts on a global scale. While these impacts are felt by all in varying degrees of severity, COVID-19, like many other health crises, is taking its greatest toll on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a crisis like no other the world has faced in recent decades in terms of its potential economic and social impacts. The estimation is that the pandemic could push about 49 million people into extreme poverty in 2020.
Identifying and engaging potentially affected vulnerable groups is an essential requirement for effective human rights due diligence. This is necessary in understanding how each group may be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 so that effective responses to their specific needs can be developed during this crisis. The following groups are particularly vulnerable to human rights impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic since they may be subject to heightened discrimination and exploitation, poor living conditions, or social exclusion, or they may be more acutely impacted by the pandemic than most for other reasons.
The COVID‐19 pandemic has had disproportionately negative impacts on socially disadvantaged and underserved populations around the world. Inequality and the related social determinants that impact certain groups are directly related to the adverse health outcomes of vulnerable populations during the pandemic. People in disadvantaged communities are generally more prone to occupational exposure to the virus and tend to have limited access to health care and higher rates of comorbidities. Outcomes related to widespread school closures are also of particular concern for underserved communities. Additionally, these populations are more susceptible to the negative economic outcomes of the pandemic.
Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), Indigenous Peoples in Remote Areas, Women, Elderly workers and people with underlying medical conditions, Migrant Workers, Poor Communities, Children and Adolescents are some of the groups that Covid-19 affect.
The measures taken to contain COVID-19 will affect households in many ways, including job loss, loss of remittances, higher prices, rationing of food and other basic goods, and disruptions to health care services and education.
Vulnerable groups are paying the highest price during these challenging times and are also most at risk of suffering devastating economic losses from COVID-19. The global pandemic continues to shine a spotlight on the vast social and economic disparities in the world.