COVID-19 Pandemic: Language matters

The COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by an #Infodemic, a spread of disinformation and misinformation making it difficult to find accurate life-saving information. Accurate information about COVID-19 such as on hygiene, physical distance, quarantine and prevention must reach everyone, including  #indigenous peoples and language users. As #COVID19 spreads to vulnerable countries with high levels of poverty and malnutrition and other disadvantages affecting indigenous peoples, it is critical to join efforts and cooperate closely to ensure the sharing of correct life-saving information and resources about COVID-19 in lesser-used, minority and indigenous languages.

Languages matter during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they are an intrinsic part of human rights and fundamental freedoms of their users, including access to accurate life-saving  information and healthcare.

We have created a collection of useful resources in relation to the role of languages in the context of the current COVID 19 Pandemic, available below. Statements, policy guidelines, public health messages and more material in indigenous languages are categorized according to UNESCO regions.

 

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UN-related Resources

1st UNESCO Bulletin on Indigenous Peoples and the COVID-19 Pandemic 

African Voices – UNESCO’s indigenous partners in Africa (UNESCO) 

Audio resources to counter disinformation (UNESCO)

 

Visual resources to counter disinformation (UNESCO)

 

COVID-19 AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS. WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS? (OHCHR Newsletter)

Policy Brief: COVID-19 and the world of work: A focus on indigenous and tribal peoples (ILO)

Indigenous peoples and COVID-19: A Guidance Note for the UN System (UN Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues)

Statement by the Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES & THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: CONSIDERATIONS (UNDESA)

Statement by the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)

Indigenous peoples’ health and safety at risk due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) (FAO)

COVID-19 Guidance – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

#DontGoViral: UNESCO and i4Policy launch a campaign to crowdsource local content to combat the Infodemic in Africa

“Journalism, Fake News & Disinformation” UNESCO Handbook for Journalism Education and Training 

Combating the disinfodemic: Working for truth in the time of COVID-19 (UNESCO)

Worldwide MOOC to train journalists to be the best they can in covering the crisis (UNESCO, WHO, MOOC)

Protecting human rights amid COVID-19 crisis (UN Department of Global Communications)

COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement (Risk Communication and Community Engagement Working Group)

AN OVERVIEW OF PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACHES SPECIFIC FOR POPULATIONS LIVING UNDER CONDITIONS OF VULNERABILITY. THE CASE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES. HIGH LEVEL MEETING OF MINISTERS OF HEALTH (PAHO)

Evidencia para el cambio transformativo: encuesta de UNRISD sobre respuestas al Covid-19 y comunidades vulnerables (UNRISD)

“Ensuring food security in the era of COVID-19” , United Nations (Sustainable Development Goals)

Making Indigenous Women and Girls Visible in the Implementation of the UN Framework for the Immediate Socio-Economic Response to COVID-19 Accessing Funds Through the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UN Women)

COVID-19: A Gender Lens; Protective Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Promoting Gender Equality, United Nations Population Fund (UNPF)

“Statement on COVID-19 & Youth”, United Nations Inter-Agency Network of Youth Development (UN IANYD)

COVID-19 is devastating indigenous communities worldwide, and it’s not only about health – UN expert warns (OHCHR)

Other Resources

Open Source Medical Supplies (Translation Commons)

COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples: Vulnerabilities, Impacts and Responses (TEBTEBBA)

This is how COVID-19 is affecting indigenous people (World Economic Forum)

VirALLlanguages: Promoting coronavirus education through indigenous languages ( KPAAM-CAM project/Community for Global Health Equity at the State University at Buffalo, School of Oriental and African Studies’ World Languages Institute at SOAS)

Indigenous Rights Radio Announcements in Indigenous Languages (Cultural Survival)

COVID-19 Resources in 500 languages (Endangered Languages Project)

Statement by the Group of Friends of Indigenous Peoples on safeguarding the health, wellbeing, and livelihoods of indigenous peoples across the world in face of COVID-19 (GOF Indigenous Peoples)

Convocatoria de traducción para la preparación de traducción para dar respuestas sobre COVID19 en las comunidades Indígenas (Global Indigenous Caucus)

COVID-19 Indigenous Health Partnership (GIYC, Harvard Medical School COVID-19 Student Response Team, UN Youth Envoy, UNPFII, IFAD, UNICEF).

UNITED WE FIGHT THE PANDEMIC/ UNIDOS COMBATIMOS LA PANDEMIA (Cultural Survival)

COVID 19: The survival of indigenous peoples is at risk (Centre for Justice and International Law)

Using Droplets for Distance Learning (Drops Language Learning Application)

COVID-19 Community Translation Program (Translators Without Borders)

COVID-19 glossary of 186 terms in 33 languages (Translators without borders)

UNESCO Regions

Africa

#DontGoViral: African artists united for the fight against Coronavirus (UNESCO & i4Policy)

Socio-economic and cultural impacts of COVID-19 on Africa (UNESCO Responses)

Press Release on the Impact of the COVID-19 Virus on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa (ACHPR)

Arab States

Latin America and the Caribbean

Pueblos indígenas entregan informe a la ONU sobre impacto del COVID-19 en sus comunidades (El Espectador)

The Coronavirus Is Spreading Through Indigenous Communities In The Amazon (NPR)

SITUACIÓN DE COVID-19 EN LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS (Panama, TV Indigena)

 

55 millones de personas indígenas en América Latina y el Caribe afectados por alta vulnerabilidad a la crisis de la COVID-19 (OIT)

 

Estrategia Multisectorial para protección de los pueblos indígenas u originarios en el marco de la emergencia sanitaria por el COVID-19 (Gobierno del Peru)

 

Viceministra de Interculturalidad: Se desarrollan acciones concretas para las comunidades indígenas (Gobierno del Peru)

 

COVID-19: Official Platform – Government of Mexico

MATERIALS IN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES TO PREVENT CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 – Government of Mexico 

#UNESCOMéxicoReúne – Frente Inclusivo, Respuestas al COVID-19

Materiales en diferentes lenguas nativas para la prevención del COVID-19 (Paraguay)

Gobierno de Panamá circulará información en lenguas indígenas para concientizar sobre el Covid-19

14th Edition of the Title of Expert in Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and International Cooperation (with emphasis on COVID-19) – Experto en Pueblos Indígenas, Derechos Humanos y Cooperación Int.

#CuidaTuComunidad campaign – International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)

(Coronavirus/COVID-19) Informacion en Lenguas Originarias/Lenguas Indigenas – Resources in Indigenous Languages  (CIELO)

Convocatoria dirigida a las #JuventudesIndígenas: Slogan y Cartel sobre la Prevención del Covid-19 en #PueblosIndígenas (FILAC)

Indigenous Regional Platform against COVID-19 : Communities at Risk and Good Practices (FILAC Regional Observatory)

Plataforma Indígena Regional frente al COVID-19 (FIAY; FILAC)

Entrevista a Jairo Gualinga Pusanga dirigente de Juventudes Indígenas de la Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador CONAIE  (Podcast – FILAC)

International Working Group on the Protection of Indigenous Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation and Initial Contact in the Amazon and in the Gran Chaco

Comunidades indigenas donan alimentos para afectatods por COVID-19

The Indigenous Communities that predicted Covid-19 (BBC Travel – Costa Rica, Central America)

Flooding devastates Ecuador’s indigenous communities in the Amazon (Mongabay)

Translating the pandemic: Bay Area radio hosts broadcast in indigenous languages (SF Gate)

COVID-19 y los Pueblos Indígenas y Afrodescendientes: desigualdades estructurales y respuestas comunes pero diferenciadas (Nodal)

Coronavirus: términos en quechua para COVID – 19 (Kuyrami)

Asia and the Pacific

The Pandemic’s Hidden Casualty: Human Rights (The Diplomat)

Indigenous youth find ways to help communities hit by pandemic (RAPPLER/ UNESCO Bangkok)

Coronavirus Health Messages in Aboriginal Languages (Northern Territory Government, Australia)

Clear face masks help hearing impaired communicate (Indigenous Sign Languages – NHK World Japan)

Fighting the coronavirus in local languages (Language on the move)

AIPP Statement on COVID-19 and Indigenous Peoples in Asia

COVID-19: Communicating to Nepal’s indigenous communities in the languages they understand (Indigenous Voice, Nepal)

Southeast Asia’s indigenous groups call for support in their fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 Response Non-English Resources (Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group)

Indigenous Papuans initiate own lockdowns in face of COVID-19 (Mongabay Series: Southeast Asian infrastructure)

In a Philippine indigenous stronghold, traditions keep COVID-19 at bay (Mongabay)

Indigenous Peoples in Bangladesh in severe food crisis during Covid-19 Pandemic (International Land Coalition – Asia)

Why self-determination is vital for Indigenous communities to beat coronavirus (The Conversation)

Europe and North America

COVID-19: Indigenous awareness resources (Government of Canada)

Public service announcements about COVID-19 (Department of Indigenous Services, Government of Canada)

Educational material for families and caregivers in Inuktitut (Government of Nunavut)

The dangers of misinformation and neglecting linguistic minorities during a pandemic (EU Commission)

Native Americans are among those who face the biggest threat from COVID-19 | Opinion

Coronavirus en EE.UU.: la “carnicería” de la pandemia en la Nación Navajo, el lugar con mayor número de casos per cápita del país (BCC Español)

Streamlining diversity: COVID-19 measures that support social cohesion (OSCE)