Pandemic and Human Rights Pandemic and Human Rights
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Statement

Lessons to be drawn from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care facilities

20/05/2020 Strasbourg

After the initial scramble to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Europe and as the situation slowly improves in the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, Council of Europe member states have to reckon with the grim reality that a substantial number of deaths, up to half according to...

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Joint statement

COVID-19: The suffering and resilience of LGBT persons must be visible and inform the actions of States

15/05/2020 Strasbourg

Statement by human rights experts on the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 17 May 2020 Geneva/Washington D.C./Strasbourg, 14 May 2020 On the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) on 17 May 2020, a group of United Nations...

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Letter

Commissioner urges Malta to meet its obligations to save lives at sea, ensure prompt and safe disembarkation, and investigate allegations of delay or non-response to situations of distress

11/05/2020 Strasbourg

In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela, published today, the Commissioner urges the Maltese government to fully meet its human rights obligations towards migrants, including asylum seekers and refugees, who cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. “In accordance with...

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Opinon article

Opinion: Coronavirus concerns are not carte blanche to snoop

01/05/2020 Strasbourg

DW, 01/05/2020 As more and more countries resort to using digital tools to monitor and track their citizens, those measures must comply with privacy laws, writes Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. COVID-19 has already killed over 200,000 people in the world....

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Human Rights Comment

Learning from the pandemic to better fulfil the right to health

23/04/2020 Strasbourg

The COVID-19 pandemic has concentrated minds about the resilience of our health care systems and it is challenging member states’ health policies and their effectiveness. In addition, doctors, medical staff and health care staff are under unprecedented pressure. Do we have sufficient medical...

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Statement

States should ensure rescue at sea and allow safe disembarkation during the COVID-19 crisis

16/04/2020 Strasbourg

“Despite the unprecedented challenges European countries face due to COVID-19, saving lives at sea and disembarking survivors in a safe port must continue”, stated today Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. The Commissioner calls on Council of Europe member states...

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Statement

Commissioner urges Poland’s Parliament to reject bills that restrict women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and children’s right to sexuality education

14/04/2020 Strasbourg

“It is with dismay that I have learned that Poland’s Parliament’s lower house plans to resume this week the examination of two citizens’ bills that aim to restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortion care and children’s right to sexuality education. I urge the Parliament to reject both...

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Statement

Governments must ensure equal protection and care for Roma and Travellers during the COVID-19 crisis

07/04/2020 Strasbourg

Every year, on the occasion of International Roma Day, governments are reminded of the need to improve the living conditions of the many impoverished and marginalised Roma in Europe and step up measures to combat the discrimination they face. This call should resonate even more loudly this year,...

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Statement

COVID-19 pandemic: urgent steps are needed to protect the rights of prisoners in Europe

06/04/2020 Strasbourg

I call on Council of Europe member states to safeguard the rights and health of all persons in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. Convicted prisoners and persons on remand are among those most vulnerable to viral contagion as they are held in a high-risk environment: in general, detention...

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Statement

Press freedom must not be undermined by measures to counter disinformation about COVID-19

03/04/2020 Strasbourg

“The global health problems caused by COVID-19 require effective measures to protect people’s health and lives. This includes combating disinformation that may cause panic and social unrest. Regrettably some governments are using this imperative as a pretext to introduce disproportionate...

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Statement

Persons with disabilities must not be left behind in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

02/04/2020 Strasbourg

As governments in Europe react to the rapid spread of the coronavirus through wide-reaching measures, they must not forget that a large proportion of their population is living with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are not only often at increased risk of serious health complications, but...

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Statement

Commissioner calls for release of immigration detainees while Covid-19 crisis continues

26/03/2020 Strasbourg

I call on all Council of Europe member states to review the situation of rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants in immigration detention, and to release them to the maximum extent possible. In the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic, many member states have had to suspend forced returns...

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Statement

Older persons need more support than ever in the age of the Covid-19 pandemic

20/03/2020 Strasbourg

The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is especially dangerous for older persons and has a disproportionately negative impact on their right to health and other human rights. The European countries which put confinement measures into place in their fight against the virus have often asked...

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Statement

We must respect human rights and stand united against the coronavirus pandemic

16/03/2020 Strasbourg

“Millions of people around the world are living through extremely tough times because of the rapid global spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. All my thoughts are with the people infected, the families and people close to them and with those who have lost loved ones,” stated today Dunja...

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