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Secretary General: COVID-related measures must be efficient but proportionate and limited in time

SECRETARY GENERAL Strasbourg 11 September 2020
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Secretary General: COVID-related measures must be efficient but proportionate and limited in time

Participating in a digital meeting on human rights, democracy and the rule of law perspectives on COVID-19 with Nordic Ministers for Foreign Affairs and for International Development Co-operation, Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić spoke about the Council of Europe’s response to protect human rights during this crisis.

“It is understandable that in an unprecedented and emergency situation, there may be measures that encroach on people’s freedoms. But the purpose of the restrictions should be, ultimately, to save lives. And we have been clear about the limits,” said the Secretary General.

She underlined the need for new laws to comply with existing legal rules. “There are rights contained within the European Convention on Human Rights from which there can be no derogation or exception at all,” she said.

The Secretary General also referred to the toolkit, published in April, to help governments ensure that their COVID-related measures are efficient but proportionate and limited in time.

The discussion brought together Ministers from Nordic countries, high-level representatives of international organisations and of NGOs.