Inside Story

Is the coronavirus a threat to democracy?

Researchers say the pandemic has been used to roll back democracy and human rights in 80 countries.

The coronavirus pandemic is causing a worldwide crisis for democracy, according to Freedom House, a United States-based research group.

In a new report, Freedom House identified 80 nations where democracy or human rights have been curtailed since the virus emerged at the end of last year.

The researchers also highlighted five main areas that have been weakened during the pandemic: Checks against abuses of power, protection of vulnerable groups, government transparency, media freedom and credible elections.

The concern is once in place, new laws or surveillance measures will be difficult or impossible to roll back.

What can the world do to keep COVID-19 from weakening both our political and immune systems?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Amy Slipowitz – research manager for Freedom House

Kavita Krishnan – secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association

Ivar Dale – senior adviser at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee