Joint Statement on the right to data protection in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Kyiv, Ukraine 14 May 2020
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Joint Statement on the right to data protection in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Council of Europe Office in Ukraine in terms of the Project “European Union and Council of Europe working together to strengthen the Ombudsperson’s capacity to protect human rights” funded the translation of the “Joint Statement on the right to data protection in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic by Alessandra Pierucci, Chair of the Committee of Convention 108 and Jean-Philippe Walter, Data Protection Commissioner of the Council of Europe” (March 30, 2020) into Ukrainian.

“States have to address the threat resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic in respect of democracy, rule of law and human rights, including the rights to privacy and data protection.

In the effort of curbing the number of new contaminations, governments have had to resort to extraordinary measures, including the declaration of a state of emergency in many cases. While the alarming public health situation of those countries has justified the introduction of specific regimes, it should be stressed that, during those limited periods, the exercise of human rights, as enshrined in several international (such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights) and national instruments is applicable and cannot be suspended but only derogated or restricted by law, to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation while respecting the essence of the fundamental rights and freedoms,” mentioned in the Statement

The authors of the Statement emphasized, provided that the primacy of the human being and the adoption of professional standards are guiding values in the field of health treatment, the processing of health-related data shall guarantee respect for the rights and fundamental freedoms of every individual, in particular the rights to privacy and to protection of personal data. Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)2 regarding health-related data provides specific guidelines in this regard.

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пан Стен Ньорлов

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Mr Steen Nørlov

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