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COVID-19: The day we discovered our fragility and our strength - New issue of the Magazine Freedom From Fear (F3) - October 2020

“This issue of the Magazine Freedom From Fear (F3) The day we discovered our fragility and our strength addresses the collateral effects of COVID-19 impacting criminal justice, namely, the growing influence of organized crime and terrorism and the rise of violence against and exploitation of women and children. I wish to commend all the authors and the Ghent University for exhibiting their commitment to research and innovation during these challenging times.

The COVID-19 virus knows no boundaries. It is laying bare weaknesses and vulnerabilities in even the most powerful countries and the richest families, while the vulnerable among us suffer the most. Nothing is remote anymore. We are all connected: our economies, our security, our health, and our futures. The achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in its 2030 Agenda is critical to the world’s collective recovery from the multifaceted impacts of the pandemic. United Nations programmes implemented in the past, for example, in response to the Ebola crisis, are now mitigating the deadly effects of COVID-19; African countries, indeed, are better able to respond to the public health crisis and to counter zoonotic diseases.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic is a “human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis.” Nationalism, racism and xenophobia, abuses of power, and oppression by criminal and extremist groups are all on the rise. Applying the shared values of the United Nations, UNICRI and its partners are committed to countering COVID-19’s direct and indirect acceleration of human rights violations, crime, armed conflict, inequality, and de-development. As showcased in this edition of F3, our expertise in research, training, and the dissemination of information based upon sound research and innovation, is a force for positive change and hope as together the world emerges from the most significant challenge of our times.”

Antonia Marie De Meo, Director of UNICRI