A New Blog Series: A Time for Optimism?

As the world bids farewell to this sad and traumatic year, in which we have witnessed the divisions created by inequality, racism, and poor leadership, is it possible to entertain a sense of hope? Hope that COVID-19 has shown us how connected we are, shown what happens when we neglect the frailest, the poorest, the most discriminated against, and that this might bring about change? That we have learned how critically important it is to have strong health systems, excellent public health mechanisms, and leaders who are committed to science-based, and rights-based processes? But beyond that, we have also seen that health depends on social and political determinants: realization of the right to health depends on all human rights being realized.

At this moment, with the changing administration in the United States, and its return to the Paris Climate Accord amongst other social justice commitments, as well as other political changes in the world, we invite contributions to a series of blogs themed around cautious optimism. Drawing on examples of changing policies or practice, shifting power dynamics, empowering grassroots movements, confronting racism and its invidious effects, seeing women taking rightful positions at decision making tables, climate change action… wherever there are signs rights-based changes are underway, we welcome your observations. And where there have yet to be signs of change, how can we envision a rights-based approach to “building back stronger”?

Blogs should be no more than 1000 words, and reflect on the topic through a human rights lens. The series will commence November 2020 and continue throughout early 2021. Further author instructions can be read here.