The Centre for Human Rights COVID-19 Database is an Africa-focused collection of information and a series of analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic in African states. The database gathers information from different sources to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on laws, regulations and policies that have been put in place by African states in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The analyses in the database include the nature of emergency responses adopted by African states to the COVID-19 pandemic, democracy related issues arising from COVID-19 responses of states such as elections, activities of the executive, legislature and judiciary, transparency issues on COVID-19 measures, and the enforcement of COVID-19 policies by state security agents. The database also contains information on the human rights issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures of states. The human rights issues covered under this category are the right to health, the right to housing, the right to water and sanitation, the right to food and nutrition, the right to employment and social security, women’s rights, children’s rights, disability rights, LGBTIQ+ rights, migrant rights, rights of persons deprived of their liberty, right to life, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of expression, access to information, privacy and digital rights. The current database is revised regularly to reflect up-to-date COVID-19 developments in the countries across selected themes.

As part of its efforts towards bridging the knowledge gap on the peculiar challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the protection and promotion of human rights as well as democratic governance, the Centre has embarked on a task of studying the measures taken by African countries in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a view to establishing the trends and patterns in terms of their impact on democratic governance and human rights. It is anticipated that this study will inform advocacy and accountability of African countries during the continuance of the pandemic, and beyond.

Specifically, the study seeks to:

  • Document and analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights and democratic governance in African countries;
  • Inform engagement with specific duty bearers in the course of the pandemic; 
  • Support accountability efforts post pandemic;
  • Facilitate learning on responses to emergencies in the future.

The Centre will publish the findings from this study as an edited book on the measures adopted by African countries in response to COVID-19 pandemic and how they impacted human rights and governance on the continent. The study brings together contributions from individual Researchers on each of the select country being investigated.

The support of the European Union and the GIZ in documenting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on human rights and democratic governance is acknowledged.



Equatorial Guinea
South Africa
South Sudan
The Gambia


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