The COVID-19 pandemic and the national responses to it brought the world almost to a complete lockdown. Economic, social and cultural life came to a virtual standstill in many places, borders were closed and trade flows interrupted. All over the world, States have intervened, to various degrees, to restrict the freedoms of their citizens in order to slow down the spread of the pandemic and prevent healthcare systems from collapsing.

The long-term political, economic and social consequences of COVID-19 cannot yet be fully predicted. However, there are signs that the far-reaching measures taken to combat the pandemic will have a massive impact on human rights and the implementation of the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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