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AICHR: ASEAN and its Member States must integrate human rights values in Covid-19 response

"Press Release on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)," 01 May 2020

...We express our serious concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and its negative effects on the lives and well-being of the people of ASEAN...

We are heartened by the outcomes from the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 and the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 on 14 April 2020 which emphasised on enhancing a caring and sharing ASEAN Community and highlighting the importance of taking a coherent, multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and whole-of-ASEAN Community approach in ensuring ASEAN’s timely and effective response to the pandemic. In line with the above, we expect all ASEAN sectoral bodies and entities, as well as Member States, to integrate human rights values and the principles of non-discrimination, participation and inclusion in their responses to the crisis.

...[W]e would like to highlight that the right to health is guaranteed to all people. Measures taken to protect public health must ensure that all persons at risk or infected by COVID-19, including women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, and vulnerable and marginalised groups, can also access essential healthcare services...

...We underscore the right of people and community to access to information in this context and pledge to work within ASEAN and its Member States to continue to promote and protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression – the right to seek, receive and impart information – as guaranteed by Articles 8 and 23 of the AHRD...

 

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