At times, in a state of emergency, it may be necessary for a state to relax the full protection of human rights and electoral obligations or derogate their obligations.
- In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.
- Appropriate and proportionate heightened security measures may be instituted in response to emergency security situations with a view to restoring or maintaining public order. In doing so, international obligations and standards set out that limitations of fundamental rights and freedoms during a state of emergency can be justified only by strict and exceptional necessity in light of a grave and imminent threat.
- Crisis situations, including public health emergencies, must not be used as a pretext for rights infringements and the imposition of undue restrictions on public freedoms. In particular, blanket bans of assemblies are likely to constitute an unnecessary and disproportionate infringement of the right, even in emergency situations.