Sudan Protection Cluster: Protection and Human Rights Considerations

The COVID-19 outbreak is a public health emergency, which in the context of Sudan’s lack of any viable national social safety net, poses multiple protection challenges and threats to human rights. In large part as a result of the armed conflict, public health services are not able to provide prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases for all persons living in the country. Additionally, the prevention and response therefore cannot be only medical, but must also address human rights and protection challenges, whether they arise from the health crisis itself or measures to contain it. While recognizing the right of any state to place proportionate restrictions to preserve public health, the absence of due process of law in Sudan may affect fundamental rights to freedom of movement, the right to leave and return to the country, including through the arbitrary closure of borders.

This paper therefore provides for a set of protection and human rights considerations for the international community, humanitarian actors, donors and the Government of Sudan to take into account in their Prevention and Response (hereinafter referred to as Response) plans for COVID-19.