By Eduardo Arenas Catalán
The Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Public Health Emergencies (the Principles), entail a notable attempt to consolidate lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. After the largely non-solidaristic international response to COVID-19, the Principles outline the advantages and limitations of embedding human rights discourse within the global public health machinery.
One key element that will test the Principles will be their ability to influence the measures taken, including by States, in preparing for, preventing, and responding to future public health emergencies with increased solidarity. That uncertain future aside, by incorporating critical elements of solidarity, which so far have been largely absent in the human rights corpus, these Principles strengthen the protection of human rights in international law.