COVID-19 and Atrocity Prevention

The appearance of COVID-19 and the subsequent global pandemic has put immense pressure on governments and economies around the world as they deal with the health, social, political and economic effects of the pandemic. When these effects meet underlying tensions in a state's governance structures, the potential for atrocity crimes to occur increases. 

The Centre has been focused on researching the impact of COVID-19 on already vulnerable populations. The latest update, from 2024, can be found here: COVID-19 and Atrocities Prevention in East-Asia: Update report 2024 (PDF, 817 KB)

In the Asia Pacific, COVID-19 has the potential to further harm populations already vulnerable to atrocity crimes, contribute to triggering events and underlying risk factors that could cause atrocity crimes, and limit the region's response capabilities. APR2P has developed a briefing memo for key stakeholders in the region that provides an overview of COVID-19's effects on atrocity crime risk in the Asia Pacific, and can be viewed below.

COVID-19 and Atrocity Crime Prevention in the Asia Pacific (PDF, 216KB).

APR2P, in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Partnership for Atrocity Prevention (APPAP) and other regional partners, established a COVID-19 and Atrocity Prevention Working Group. This working group aims to examine the responses of states in the Asia Pacific region to contain the pandemic since January 2020, including the measures implemented as well as implications for vulnerable populations and for atrocity prevention in general. The Working Group will also look at the situation facing populations in conflict-affected areas, the intersection of pandemic responses and fundamental human rights, and experiences in refugee camps.

The Working Group convened its first online meeting on 30 June 2020, aiming to subsequently produce a report on case studies covering nine countries in the region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, China, Korea, Japan, and Fiji.  The analysis will identify key lessons in responding to the pandemic, focusing on protection of vulnerable populations and atrocity crime prevention. Recommendations will be made for strengthening the responses to the pandemic in order to protect vulnerable populations, for consideration by state and non-state stakeholders in the region.

This report was published in June 2021, and can be viewed below.

COVID-19 and Implications for Atrocities Prevention: Lessons from East Asia (PDF, 6.5MB).

APR2P is continuing to undertake further research into the effects the global pandemic will have on the risk of atrocity crimes in the Asia Pacific. Further content will be published on this page in the near future. 

You can also email the Centre for further information.