UN Chief: “Threat is the virus, not people”;  Don’t to use pandemic to violate human rights

UN Chief: “Threat is the virus, not people”; Don’t to use pandemic to violate human rights

UN Chief: “Threat is the virus, not people”; Don’t to use pandemic to violate human rights

Written by Zahida Rizvi

24 Apr, 2020 | 12:31 pm

The coronavirus pandemic should not be made an opportunity to violate human rights and suppress freedom of speech, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday.

The coronavirus pandemic which started as a public health emergency has rapidly escalated to a human rights crisis, said the United Nation’s secretary-general.

The UN chief in a video message said that there is discrimination in the delivery of public services among the pandemic impacted people.

“We have seen how the virus does not discriminate, but its impacts do expose deep weaknesses in the delivery of public services and structural inequalities that impede access to them,” Guterres said.

Addressing the UN report on Covid-19 and human rights, he stressed, the requirement for governments to be transparent, responsive and accountable and the critical need for press freedom

The UN underlined that the threat is “the virus, not people”.

“We see the disproportionate effects on certain communities, the rise of hate speech, the targeting of vulnerable groups, and the risks of heavy-handed security responses undermining the health response,” Guterres said.

The UN reports further noted that any emergency measures such as legal, proportionate, necessary and non-discriminatory, have a specific focus and duration, and should be implemented in the least intrusive approach possible to protect public health.

Guterres pointed out, “The virus threatens everyone, Human rights uplift everyone”.

“By respecting human rights in this time of crisis, we will build more effective and inclusive solutions for the emergency of today and the recovery for tomorrow,” he said.

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