Human Rights Watch provides overview of rights concerns posed by COVID-19 outbreak & response

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 19 March 2020

"Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response", 19 March 2020

... The scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic clearly rises to the level of a public health threat that could justify restrictions on certain rights, such as those that result from the imposition of quarantine or isolation limiting freedom of movement. At the same time, careful attention to human rights such as non-discrimination and human rights principles such as transparency and respect for human dignity can foster an effective response... in times of crisis and limit the harms that can come from the imposition of overly broad measures that do not meet the above criteria.

This document provides an overview of human rights concerns posed by the coronavirus outbreak, drawing on examples of government responses to date, and recommends ways governments and other actors can respect human rights in their response...

Protect freedom of expression and ensure access to critical information

Ensure quarantines, lockdowns, and travel bans comply with rights norms

Protect people in custody and in institutions

Ensure protection of health workers

Fulfill the right to education—even if schools are temporarily closed

Address disproportionate impacts on women and girls

Root out discrimination and stigma, protect patient confidentiality

Ensure marginalized populations can access health care without discrimination

Protect community and civil society organizations

Promote the rights to water and sanitation

Ensure humanitarian aid continues

Target economic relief to assist low-wage workers

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