Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD) are among the most vulnerable, and ostracised in the sphere of social, economic, political development. Individuals from these communities at the intersections of other forms of discrimination – like disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, age, and whether they belong to indigenous populations or migrant populations – results in further discrimination and violence. Additionally, the nature of the discrimination that these CDWD face, lends itself to the perpetuation of contemporary forms of slavery. Modern forms of slavery are prevalent among the DWD communities, but this factor is often neglected in academics as well as public debate.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has led to the further marginalisation and exploitation of several vulnerable communities across the world. Certainly, there has been community resilience and support during this time, however, governments have failed in providing relief and recovery assistance in several key areas. Existing social hierarchies have been exacerbated during the pandemic; access to healthcare, food, economic relief, and education are among several basic rights that have been denied to these communities during this time. The absence of a strong inclusion of CDWD and recognition of the intersectional discrimination that exists in the SDGs, as well as State plans for recovery, have left the most vulnerable groups with no clear steps towards recovery and development. As the world begins to recover from this Pandemic, it is extremely crucial to ensure the human rights of communities discriminated on work and descent in order to truly achieve the pledge of “Leave No One Behind”.