Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for religious minorities from the UN perspective


  • Rossella Bottoni



The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious challenge to the enjoyment of free- dom of religion or belief. This article examines how this was addressed in the context of the UN machinery on human rights protection. UN documents indi- cate a holistic perspective that the global crisis could not be solved only with public health and emergency measures, but also required a human rights-based approach. The UN also exhibited a concern for application of the principles of necessity and proportionality, with particular regard for the inclusion of margin- alized and vulnerable groups, such as religious minorities.

Author Biography

Rossella Bottoni

Rossella Bottoni is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Trento, where she teaches Law and Religion, Comparative Ecclesiastical Law and Introduction to Islamic Law. She is author of two monographs in the Italian language (The Principle of Secularism in Turkey: A Legal and Historical Perspective, 2012, and Law and Religion in the European Space, 2019), and co-editor of Religious Rules, State Law, and Normative Pluralism (Springer, 2016), the Routledge Handbook of Religious Laws (Routledge, 2019) and the Routledge Handbook of Freedom of Religion or Belief (Routledge, 2021). This article uses American English. Article submitted: 17 February 2022; accepted 16 February 2023. Contact: