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Vaccine pass : yes, but with strict respect of Human rights

Strasbourg 4 May 2021
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Vaccine pass : yes, but with strict respect of Human rights

While it acknowledges the usefulness of means such as “vaccination passes” that are considered or already developed by some States, as well as the legitimacy of people’s wish to gain back some of the freedoms that were restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the needs for the economy, the Committee of Convention 108 recalls that such developments should not preclude strict respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. In particular, no unjustified discrimination can occur based on the fact that a person has not been vaccinated whatever the reason. Furthermore, one should keep in mind the sensitive nature of the data thus processed and the particular guaranties they should benefit from. While mindful, of course, of the importance of combatting the pandemic, it should also be recalled that alternatives to the use of such digital tools need to be made available, and that their use cannot be made mandatory.

Finally, setting up information systems (data bases) is necessary for the fight against the coronavirus, as they allow for the monitoring of the organisation of vaccination campaigns. But these systems rely on many sensitive data and it is also necessary, therefore, to ensre strict respect of the right to data protection.

Read the Statement

The Committee of Bio-ethics of the Council of Europe delivers a similar message through a Statement on human rights considerations relevant to “vaccine pass” and assimilated documents. See more here.