Coronavirus pandemic becoming a ‘human rights crisis’: Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres today said that the Corona virus pandemic is a human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis.
In a video message, the U N Chief said, there is discrimination in the delivery of public services to tackle COVID-19 and there are structural inequalities that impede access to them.
Mr Guterres said, the pandemic has also seen 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. He warned that with rising ethno-nationalism, populism, authoritarianism and a push back against human rights in some countries, the crisis can provide a pretext to adopt repressive measures for purposes unrelated to the pandemic.
Earlier, Mr Guterres issued a call to action to countries, businesses and people to help renew and revive human rights across the globe, laying out a seven-point plan amid concerns about climate change, conflict and repression.He said, governments must be transparent, responsive and accountable and stressed that press freedom, civil society organizations, the private sector and civic space are essential
Guterres said governments must be ”transparent, responsive and accountable,” stressing that press freedom, civil society, the private sector and ”civic space” are essential.
The UN chief added that emergency measures must be ”legal, proportionate, necessary and non-discriminatory, have a specific focus and duration, and take the least intrusive approach possible to protect public health.”