Living with COVID-19 continues to constrain our daily lives, as a new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report shows. Moving forward, governments need to ensure existing fundamental rights challenges do not worsen and vulnerable members of society do not suffer disproportionately.
“Wholesale constraints on our lives are easing as we better learn to live with COVID-19,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “We must acknowledge how frontline workers, courts, national bodies, civil society worked tirelessly to promote and protect fundamental rights during the pandemic. This work should not stop here. We need to continue to build on their efforts in the ‘new normal’ to respect and advance fundamental rights for all.”
This fourth FRA Bulletin on the Coronavirus pandemic in the EU: fundamental rights implications looks at how EU Member States tackle the pandemic and the impact on fundamental rights:
As Member States reopen schools and plan for the next school year, various assessments underline how children from disadvantaged backgrounds lack equipment and support for distance learning.
With many people working again, studies point to the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women when it comes to work-life balance and caring responsibilities.
Judicial systems also continue to return to normal. They tried to clear case backlogs through longer hours or more staff. Many still use video hearings for some cases.
Member States continue to ease temporary controls at their internal borders and restrict travel to the EU in line with EU recommendations.
Restrictions eased for older people and people with disabilities in institutions. But sometimes visiting guidelines are too complex or restrictions are over-implemented or disproportionate leading to greater stress and loneliness.
Some Member States run initiatives to counter the impact on Roma communities, such as educational programmes or access to information and healthcare.
Some also support victims of rising domestic violence, by opening new shelters, support networks and more funding to better protect victims.
Governments continue to fight disinformation by enhancing transparency on virus statistics, creating dedicated platforms and media funding.
This report covers measures in place in the 27 EU Member States from 1 to 30 June 2020.