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Business and human rights dilemmas in the midst of COVID-19

A guide for senior executives in New Zealand - June 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is emerging as a test of business’ commitment to upholding human rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted the world into an unprecedented crisis. At its heart, the pandemic is a human tragedy, sadly with loss of life. New Zealand was one of the countries that was hit the latest with the virus outbreak and lessons learnt from other countries overseas were applied. The country used strict measures to protect its people from the deadly disease and placed the protection of the individual life at the highest priority. With the government’s quick response and measures of complete lockdown, New Zealand can now operate freely in its own bubble.

Nevertheless, Covid-19 and its effects are expected to be felt for many years to come. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report in June in which New Zealand was listed one of the countries most hit by COVID-19 with an estimated drop of almost 30% in activity (compared to US with 25%, Australia with 22% and Ireland with 15%)1.


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END NOTES:

1. Trade, F. (2020). CORONAVIRUS - The situation in New Zealand | Flanders Trade. Retrieved 20 June 2020, from https://www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com/export/nieuws/coronavirus-situation-new-zealand

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