The COVID-19 pandemic: Exacerbating the threat of corruption to human rights and sustainable development in Pacific island countries

Nov 2, 2021

This paper identifies how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the threat that corruption poses to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Pacific Island countries (PICs). It recommends policies and measures that could help address this threat, focusing on the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. First, the paper discusses how corruption threatens human rights as well as progress on Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Second, it explores COVID-19’s wide and deep impact on human rights in PICs. Third, the paper looks into examples of how corruption exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined certain clusters of human rights in PICs. Next, the paper takes stock of PICs’ engagement with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and with the UN human rights system, before concluding with policy recommendations.

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