Author: Kristin B. Sandvik

COVID-19: Towards a Digital Fragmentation of the Right to Education?

COVID-19 lockdowns have had momentous impact on children’s lives worldwide and in particular on the right to education. Save the Children reports that more than 1.6 billion learners globally have faced school closures due to the pandemic, resulting in at least 10 million children not returning to school.[1] Among key international stakeholders, there appears to be a consensus… Read more »

COVID-19 and the Law: Framing Healthcare Worker Risks as Women’s Rights Violations

Today, public health is ‘delivered by women and led by men’, with a glaring absence of women and nurses at the decision making table.[1] Globally, though women only make up 25% of those in healthcare leadership they make up the majority of healthcare workers (70%) and nurses (90%).[2]  This exclusion skews the agendas on health so the… Read more »

The Coldest Cold Chain: Chilling Effects of Covid-19 Vaccines

After various stretches of lockdowns and the related dire political, social, and economic consequences, the world has welcomed the news that several companies – including Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer – are approaching an effective vaccine for Covid-19. Approximately 200 more are in the pipeline, of which 48 in clinical and 164 in pre-clinical stages of development. While there is thus hope on the horizon,… Read more »

Chronicling Smittestopp: Game on. Game over. Blame games.

April 16, 2020, the Norwegian COVID-19 tracking app Smittestopp was launched to great fanfare. The app was presented as crucial to the effort of saving lives and curbing infection rates. September 28 it was finally over, although the post-mortem dissection of the app has been unusually acrimonious for the Norwegian context. Smittestopp 1.0 will be replaced… Read more »

A Nobel for the WFP: A non-political Peace Prize for humanitarian multilateralism?

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the World Food Program for its “efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”. The announcement emphasizes the… Read more »

TikTok and the War on Data: Great Power Rivalry and Digital Body Counts

In 1971, the US declared a War on Drugs. In 2001, it began a still ongoing War on Terror. In 2020, the country has initiated a global War on Data to ‘combat’ the malicious collection of US citizens’ personal data. It is the first time that America is going to war for its population’s digital… Read more »

The COVID-19 Tracking Apps Ecosystem Unraveled: Critical Issues for Global Health

In March and April 2020, an ecosystem of tracing apps suddenly emerged, presenting digital solutions as indispensable for winning the battle against Covid-19. A few months later, the techno-optimism has subsided drastically, ranging from a perception that apps are problematic surveillance tools (Russia, Bahrain and Kuwait) or ineffective (Singapore, France and Iceland) to the more… Read more »

Children in Lockdown: Children’s Rights, Covid-19 and the Case of Norway

“The lost generation of the Covid-19 pandemic is not those at risk over 65, but our children and youth, particularly at present here in Larvik municipality. We communicate with children subjected to violence by siblings, threats, mothers who cry all day, children with mentally ill parents, parents with drug and substance abuse problems, parents in… Read more »

Norway’s Smittestopp (‘Infection Stop’) App as a Socio-Legal Problem

At the time of writing in early May 2020, Norwegians have in many ways escaped lightly from the first phase of the pandemic. The outbreak was contained at an early stage, the number of cases is low and there have been few deaths. In addition, Norway has money in the bank to secure basic welfare… Read more »