Repressive Measures on the Rise: UN Warns Against Violation of Human Rights Amid Pandemic

António Guterres
António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations. Image Source - Twitter@António Guterres

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has given out an important message to the world and warned the global community that the coronavirus pandemic is nothing short of “a human crisis that is fast becoming a human rights crisis.”

The Chief of the United Nations issued a video message for the world community and said that the world was presently witnessing widespread discrimination as far as the delivery of public services was concerned and that there were many structural inequalities that have impeded people’s access to them.

The  UN Chief also highlighted the fact that the coronavirus pandemic was leaving “disproportionate effects of 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.”

It was in the month of February that Guterres had issued a call for action to several countries, business and people to help renew and revive the human rights across the world. He also laid out a seven-point plan amid concerns about climate change, conflict and repression.

The United Nations has been expressing deep concern about the way the crisis has led to the further marginalisation of select communities across the world and their inability to cope up with the pandemic amid the loss of fundamental rights. He said that human rights must be at the centre of how nations plan to fight the pandemic and that it shouldn’t allow for the violation of human rights at any cost. Guterres said that governments must be transparent, responsive and accountable and stressed that press freedom, civil society organisations, the private sector and civic space are essential.

The governments throughout the world were encouraged by his post to become more careful about the spread of the coronavirus and the resultant snatching away of basic rights from select sections of the population.



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