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Minority and Indigenous Trends 2021: Lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic

It was clear, even in the early days of the pandemic, that minorities, indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities were at greater risk of infection and death from COVID-19. Subsequently, however, it has become apparent that the impacts of the crisis have extended far beyond the immediate health outcomes, with everything from employment and education to housing and mental well-being disrupted.

This volume, spanning three thematic chapters and 10 key lessons with accompanying case studies from across the world, demonstrates how in almost every area of life minorities and indigenous peoples have borne a disproportionate burden, exacerbated in many countries by poorly implemented or discriminatory government policies. More fundamentally, however, it argues that much of the inequity and discrimination brought to the surface by the pandemic was present long before the outbreak – and is likely to remain in place without transformative societal change.

As countries navigate the uncertain path towards recovery, it is vital that there is more than simply a return to normality. This painful global emergency also offers an opportunity to achieve lasting change to the systemic racism and injustice that minority and indigenous communities have contended with for generations. Without meaningful action to address these underlying issues, however, the world will continue to be exposed to the threat of further health crises in the years to come.

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