Global Updates

Daily Updates on the the spread of the Pandemic can be found here

The Impact on those working in the garment global supply chain
The Likely Global Economic Fall-out
Who is being impacted most?

UK coronavirus response utterly hypocritical, says UN poverty expert

COVID-19: Our hungriest, most vulnerable communities face “a crisis within a crisis”

Women at the core of the fight against COVID-19 crisis

Precarious workers pushed to the edge by COVID-19

If you are a freelancer, who pays your sick leave? If you work in a retail store on a zero-hours contract and the store closes, are you out of luck? Watch the video on this link

Informal Economy workers

Why protecting informal economy workers is so critical in time of COVID-19

The Vulnerable

COVID-19 security measures no excuse for excessive use of force, say UN Special Rapporteurs

Key Considerations: COVID-19 in Informal Urban Settlements (March 2020)

What have learned from COVID-19 – Pollution

Air pollution may be ‘key contributor’ to Covid-19 deaths – study

Air pollution linked to far higher Covid-19 death rates, study finds

Dirty air increases the risk of respiratory problems that can be fatal for coronavirus patients

Can atmospheric pollution be considered a co-factor in extremely high level of SARS-CoV-2 lethality in Northern Italy?


This paper investigates the correlation between the high level of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lethality and the atmospheric pollution in Northern Italy. Indeed, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna are Italian regions with both the highest level of virus lethality in the world and one of Europe’s most polluted areas. Based on this correlation, this paper analyzes the possible link between pollution and the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome and eventually death. We provide evidence that people living in an area with high levels of pollutants are more prone to develop chronic respiratory conditions and suitable for any infective agent. Moreover, prolonged exposure to air pollution leads to a chronic inflammatory stimulus, even in young and healthy subjects. We conclude that the high level of pollution in Northern Italy should be considered an additional co-factor of the high level of lethality recorded in that area-

The Labour Market

For the International Labour Organization latest predictions (29 April) Check here. For regular up-date information check here

New thinking

Social Partnership

Social Partnership in the times of the COVID-19 Pandemic

A New Social Contract can rebuild our workplaces and economies after COVID-19

Pollution and Climate Change

How our global battle against coronavirus could help us fight climate change

As people around the world work together to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, the outsize roles we play in Earth’s natural system have become clear as never before. Billions of humans can now see how they are interconnected, working together to slow the spread of a lethal virus through their individual actions. Within this experience, if we are successful, lies the potential lesson we need not just to stop the worst projections for COVID-19,but to address other pressing societal challenges, including climate change.

New Ways of Working

Learning To Work In New Ways Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

Thankfully, my own two companies largely utilize remote work models so my teams are well-versed in working out of their homes. In situations like we face currently, I realize that we are the fortunate ones and that there are some lessons we have become accustomed to that may be of value to those of you who are struggling to adapt to a new, remote way of working together.

How Covid-19 May Change The Way Business Is Conducted

Jack Kelly09:38am EST

We’re seeing a seismic shift in the way corporations conduct business due to COVID-19. In an effort to protect their employees and help avoid the spread of the virus, companies have quickly enacted new policies.

These steps include endorsing video interviews, working from home, halting in-person meetings, canceling conferences, cutting down on flying out to meet clients, becoming more attune to the supply chain and what countries they conduct business with. It’s a radical new way of thinking about how the workplace should operate. It shows that there is not an absolute need to have everyone congregated together in one place. With the advancements in technology it’s possible to have large numbers, if not all, employees working remotely.

Into the unknown: The new world of work amid Covid-19

At the time of this writing, the global spread of Covid-19 is already reshaping accepted definitions of the workplace, and even workforce, in ways we didn’t think possible a matter of weeks ago. A CWS 3.0 article last week advised organizations to include contingent workers in Covid-19 precautions, including office hygiene. Now, just one week on, for many organizations, asking workers to congregate at a physical office seems almost unthinkable, and The World’s Largest Work From Home Experiment has begun in earnest.

COVID-19 will change our lives and our way of working

UN Development Programme

In the French novel, ”The Plague,” Albert Camus asks if suffering can exist not in individuals but as a shared public experience. Crisis, he writes, upends existing social order and creates paradigm shifts.

The coronavirus COVID-19 affects all aspects of society and all dimensions of sustainable development. This paradigm shift exposes systemic inter-connectedness for everyone to see and that breaks boundaries — sectoral, institutional or even national. Much like climate change.

But this pandemic brings an immediate, direct and personal sense of urgency to everyone.

With most of our efforts focused on how we respond, UNDP needs to keep an eye on the long-term effects of coronavirus and what it could mean for sustainable development in the future

New Ways of Learning

COVID-19: Here’s how one pandemic will change our lives, forever

The coronavirus will leave an enormous impact on how we consume, how we learn, how we work, and how we socialize and communicate.

Jason Perlow March 16, 2020 — 12:18 GMT (12:18 GMT)

The spread of telecommuting and online learning

 As a strategy to contain potentially infected people and prevent the virus from spreading further, businesses and schools will heavily rely on the internet to keep business running. From online learning to telecommuting, many aspects of our daily lives that used to involve face to face contact will be moved to cyberspace.  This shift to internet-based work presents both advantages, challenges, and potentially a detriment to the education and business communities. 

The 4th Industrial Revolution and Small-Scale Creativity

An interesting article that must serve as inspiration for start-ups and micro-enterprise networking in a variety of sectors.

The schoolboy brothers making coronavirus visors for care workers

New Economic Order

Chomsky and Pollin: To Heal From COVID-19, We Must Imagine a Different World

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caught the world unprepared, and the economic, social and political consequences of the pandemic are expected to be dramatic, in spite of recent pledges by leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies to inject $5 trillion into the global economy in order to spur economic recovery.

But what lessons can we learn from this pandemic? Will the coronavirus crisis lead to a new way of organizing society — one that conceives of a social and political order where profits are not above people?

Full article here

View: COVID-19 crisis presents a 100-year chance to shake up debt and taxes

Corporate rescue this time may involve a rewriting of accounting rules to encourage deleveraging.

By Andy Mukherjee

For 100 years now, capitalism has had a pro-leverage bias. Unlike dividends, which are paid only after the state has taken its share of earnings, interest is deducted from pretax profit, shrinking the pie available to the government. 
This accounting oddity, which treats debt capital more favorably than equity, has driven the leveraged buyout industry, led to a correction in a foundational paper by a pair of Nobel economics winners, and played a role .. 

Read more here

Links – Relating to the Most Vulnerable Including Modern Slavery

Global Supply Chain workers – Including Modern Slavery

The Impact of COVID-19 on Modern Slavery

Our executive director shares thoughts on coronavirus & modern slavery

Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers ordered home as factories stay closed

RMG workers take to streets demanding pay

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak: Supply chain workers

Apple, Nike, and other top brands linked to forced labor of China’s Uyghurs

Live-blog: How the Coronavirus influences garment workers in supply chains*BLOG

RMG workers at risk of starvation

New clothes pile up at Cambodian factories. Coronavirus forces U.S. brands to cancel orders

Garment Workers Cornered by Job Loss, Virus Fears and Looming Debt

Garment workers end three-day strike over unpaid wages


Coronavirus threatens the livelihoods of garment workers around the world

Employers asked to pay workers’ salaries

Textile, garment industry suffers badly from contagion crisis

RMG workers demonstrate at 4 places in Dhaka demanding wages

Abandoned? The Impact of Covid-19 on Workers and Businesses at the Bottom of Global Garment Supply Chains

Protecting women’s rights during Covid-19

Garment workers in Cambodia, Myanmar and even Asia lose jobs as Covid-19 hits them hard

The crisis of the migrant workers in India

Field report: Ending Modern Slavery in the Thai Fishing Industry

Lebanon’s coronavirus lockdown leaves migrant women penniless and stranded

When travel restrictions forced us to suspend rescue operations earlier this year, I was communicating with about 30 women in China. All of them were trapped and waiting for our help.’

Amnesty says workers were told they were being taken to be tested for the new coronavirus

Philippine Senate opens inquiry into crimes linked to Chinese-run offshore gambling operators* (relates to human trafficking)

COVID-19: In garment units, it’s business as usual

BGMEA to reopen its factories from Apr 26

Measures being taken

Why protecting informal economy workers is so critical in time of COVID-19

UN working to ensure vulnerable groups not left behind in COVID-19 response

EU Pledges Support for Women Garment Factory Workers in Myanmar

G20 agrees to debt relief for poorest countries amid pandemic

Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak

How Bangladesh’s leaders should respond to the economic threats of COVID-19

The response from international bodies

The European Union

Coronavirus response

The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the coronavirus outbreak. We are taking resolute action to reinforce our public health sectors and mitigate the socio-economic impact in the European Union. We are mobilizing all means at our disposal to help our Member States coordinate their national responses and are providing objective information about the spread of the virus and effective efforts to contain it. Rolling Coverage of Highlights

The United Nations and Agencies

The United Nations

“The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy The world is facing an unprecedented test.  And this is the moment of truth. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling seriously ill from COVID-19, and the disease is spreading exponentially in many places, Societies are in turmoil, and economies are in a nose-dive. The International Monetary Fund has reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021, declaring that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009. We must respond decisively, innovatively, and together to suppress the spread of the virus and address the socio-economic devastation that COVID-19 is causing in all regions.

We are all in this Together: Human Rights and COVID-19 Response and Recovery The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency — but it is far more. It is an economic crisis.  A social crisis.  And a human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis. In February, I launched a Call to Action to put human dignity and the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the core of our work. As I said then, human rights cannot be an afterthought in times of crisis — and we now face the biggest international crisis in generations. Today, I am releasing a report highlighting how human rights can and must guide COVID-19 response and recovery.

UN launches major humanitarian appeal to keep COVID-19 from ‘circling back around the globe’


The Coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Since its emergence in Asia late last year, the virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica. Cases are rising daily in Africa the Americas, and Europe. But COVID-19 is much more than a health crisis. By stressing every one of the countries it touches, it has the potential to create devastating social, economic and political crises that will leave deep scars.

The World Food Programme

COVID-19 pandemic

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is disrupting the world as we knew it, with a heavy toll on human lives and economic activities. Its rapid global spread is threatening to affect millions of people already made vulnerable by food insecurity, malnutrition and the effects of conflict and other disasters. 

To minimize the impact of the epidemic on the 86 million people it intends to serve this year, WFP is adapting its planning to ensure they will continue receiving the assistance they need. 

WFP’s response to COVID-19 in pictures

International Labour Organisation (ILO) – The World of Work

Global impact and policy recommendations

COVID-19 and the world of work Country policy responses (here you will find the steps taken by countries with respect to the world of work (Governments – Workers- Employers) in these four areas:

Stimulating the economy and employment

Supporting enterprises, jobs and incomes

Supporting enterprises, jobs and incomes

Relying on social dialogue for solutions

UNICEF (Children)

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Response

As part of the measures implemented by governments to control the COVID-19 pandemic, some 124 governments have already closed schools, resulting in over 1.2 billion learners3 going without access to education or, generally for the first time, studying remotely. Where distance-learning mechanisms are attempted, they will not reach all children and youth – those without internet access or adult supervision will be disadvantaged. Children on the move are already disproportionately affected by learning disruptions, and they are at great risk of exclusion from online or other alternative learning options. As schools close, school lunches and other support services are no longer available for the poorest children. Even when schools reopen, children will be returning to only 53 per cent of schools having basic hygiene services (defined as having a handwashing facility with water and soap available). Nearly 900 million children worldwide lack basic hygiene services at their school,4 increasing their risk of exposure to diseases such as COVID-19.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO

The Race Against Time

Strengthening food production and distribution systems is key to fighting hunger and entails helping tackle diseases wherever they emerge in humans, animals, plants or the environment. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global health crisis, and FAO is playing a role in assessing and responding to its potential impacts on people’s life and livelihoods, global food trade, markets, food supply chains and livestock.  

FAO believes this will allow countries to anticipate and mitigate possible disruptions the pandemic may trigger for people’s food security and livelihoods, avoiding panic-driven reactions that can aggravate disruptions and deteriorate the food and nutrition security of the most vulnerable.

FAO is working closely with WHO, WFP, IFAD and OIE and other partners, harnessing broad networks to drive further research, support ongoing investigations and share critical knowledge.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Food How is the pandemic affecting food systems, food security, and agricultural livelihoods? What role if any do animals play in transmitting the disease? These questions and more are covered in these answers to frequently asked questions, which are being updated as new information and analysis becomes available.

The World Health Organisation

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Basic protective measures against the new Coronavirus

UNHCR Refugees

Coronavirus outbreak

“If ever we needed reminding that we live in an interconnected world, the novel coronavirus has brought that home.”

These words, coming from UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, express what the world has been experiencing over the last months: the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, knows no borders, no language barriers. It threatens everyone on this planet – including refugees and other displaced people.

And it can only be tackled if we all, as one global community, work together and demonstrate solidarity. Because what this global coronavirus outbreak has undeniably demonstrated, is that the health of every person is linked to the health of the most marginalized and vulnerable members in a society. And these members often include refugees, stateless people and internally displaced people.