Recover better and leave no one behind – Human Rights Day 2020

News and Press Release
Originally published

Today, as the world celebrates international Human Rights Day, we, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU), call on everyone to put human rights front and center when responding to the pandemic. A sustainable future can only be developed if we recover better and leave no one behind.

As Michelle Bachelet – the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – said, “we now face three very different possible futures. We can emerge from this crisis in an even worse state than when it began – and be even less well prepared for the next shock to our systems. We can struggle mightily to get back to normal – but normal is what brought us to where we are today. Or we can recover better”.

We can recover better ONLY if we ensure equality and non-discrimination for all. And while the COVID-19 vaccine is being developed, human rights are already here to guide us to build more resilient, equal and inclusive societies.

“The pandemic has hit us all, but it has disproportionately affected those who were already being left behind and suffering discrimination in Ukraine, such as people with disabilities, homeless people, Roma and those facing multiple forms of discrimination, particularly women from these groups. Unfortunately, this was predictable, since crises always exacerbate the inequalities in society. Health care workers, who have long faced inadequate conditions of work, have also been suffering,” said Matilda Bogner, Head of HRMMU.

HRMMU, together with, has prepared a series of stories about how the pandemic has affected human rights of people in vulnerable situations throughout Ukraine. Read these stories to find out how a nurse from Toretsk, a civilian from eastern Ukraine, a Roma human rights activist, a sign language interpreter and a human rights activist who helps homeless people are addressing challenges that the pandemic has exposed.

The stories are also presented in an outdoor exhibition, available in Kyiv, on 36, Khreschatyk Street (on the pedestrian area near the building of Kyiv City State Administration) from 10 to 27 December.

We’re only as strong as our weakest link. Join us in the efforts to promote human rights and re-build a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future.

#HumanRightsDay #RecoverBetter #ДеньПравЛюдини2020

For more information or media enquiries, please contact Tanya Tesliuchenko at +380503868069 or e-mail