The COVID-19 Law Lab initiative was created to ensure the collection and sharing of legal documents from more than 190 countries. This will help to create and implement a strong legal framework to combat the pandemic, which will protect the health and well-being of individuals or communities, in line with international human rights standards.
Detailed laws will help build strong health care systems, test and register safe and effective drugs and vaccines, and enforce healthier and safer public spaces and workplaces. In addition, ill-conceived and ineffective regulations, which are not backed up by enforcement mechanisms, can harm marginalized populations, promote stigma and discrimination, and hamper pandemic remedies.
"Harmful legislation can increase stigma and discrimination, restrict people's rights and disrupt health measures," said Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director. "In order for pandemic measures to be effective, humane and sustainable, States must use the law as a tool to protect the rights and dignity of the people affected by COVID-19."
The COVID-19 Law Lab is a database of legislative action taken by countries in response to a pandemic. These include declarations of emergency, isolation and quarantine measures, disease surveillance and legal measures relating to the wearing of masks, social distancing, and access to medicines and vaccines.
COVID-19 Law Lab is a joint project of the United Nations Development Program, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and the Institute of National and International Health Law. O'Neill at Georgetown University.