Human rights and safety – starting from where you live: Examples from, and links between, Sweden and Eastern Europe

Tisdag 20 april 2021 09:00 - 10:00

Local leaders and decision makers react to global and local challenges in different ways and with different measurements, something that became obvious in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Consequently, people’s safety, both in terms of health and economic security became dependent on where and how they live.  

When looking at the security and health aspects of quarantine and curfew, as a response to COVID-19, there are different consequences depending on how you live and what stage of life you are in. This can be seen in many different layers. The housing condition and access to healthcare has a clear influence on how one manages to stay healthy and safe. Meanwhile, even if you do not get infected yourself the long-term consequences of the political response will impact people differently, both depending on if you live in rural or urban areas as well as what stage of life you are in. For instance, youth are not in the risk group of the virus itself, but they will face long-term consequences when schools are closed and the unemployment rate skyrockets. Discrimination of marginalised groups have been even more prominent as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic which has increased the inequality in societies when resources become limited. 

The political response in Sweden and the Eastern Partnership region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) have had both differences and similarities, which makes it very interesting to discuss and analyze, even though it is still too early to analyze the long-term consequences. How people follow the decisions of their leaders, what health systems that are available in different parts of the country and how the economy of households are dependent on the national economy are some aspects that will leave a clear mark on many generations and possibly contribute to an increased segregation of the society.

Based on examples from the ground, this session embraces the human rights connected to where and how people live and draws on cases and experiences from Sweden and the Eastern Partnership region in relation to how the populations of these countries experienced the COVID-19 response and how their living situation affects their access to health care and economic stability.

The aim of the session is four-folded. Firstly, this session will showcase the scope of the housing problem in different parts of the world and how closely it is connected to equal treatment of healthcare and human rights. Secondly, the seminar aims to highlight current challenges and risks for people living in marginalized areas and how it affects their lives when the political landscape, healthcare system and national economy changes drastically. Thirdly, it will aim to address what similarities and differences that exist between Sweden and the countries neighboring to the EU borders, and how crisis and resilience affects us in different and/ or similar ways. Finally, the session will aim to increase the knowledge of how development aid and political decisions can impact the lives of rural and urban citizens differently and what long-term consequences that follows after the COVID-19 crisis depending on where you live.

The event is created based on cooperation between members of the Swedish Civil Society Network for EaP and Russia. (coordinated by ForumCiv). Fryshuset, RFSL, Nordic Ukraine Forum and Utrikespolitiska Förbundet are some of the organisations involved in the arrangement of this session.  


ForumCiv, Fryshuset, RFSL, Nordic Ukraine Forum, Utrikespolitiska förbundet



Prioriterade målgrupper (max 3)

Civilsamhälle, Tjänstepersoner vid region, Tjänstepersoner vid statliga myndigheter/departement