Government measures to combat COVID-19 have profound implications for everybody’s fundamental rights, including the right to life and to health, as mapped by a new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report. Government responses to stop the virus particularly affect the rights of already vulnerable or at-risk people, such as the elderly, children, people with disabilities, Roma or refugees. Respecting human rights and protecting public health is in everyone’s best interest – they have to go hand-in-hand.
“We clearly need strong public health responses to protect life during the pandemic. But we can protect our health and respect human rights. It is not a zero sum game,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “The more we respect human rights, the better will be our public health strategies. These strategies must also ensure that any limitations to people’s fundamental rights should only last as long as necessary and that they protect already vulnerable people who may face even greater risks from COVID-19.”
The FRA report 'Coronavirus pandemic in the EU: Fundamental Rights Implications' looks at the measures EU Member States use to address the pandemic to highlight rights-respectful approaches that other Member States can learn from.
It focuses on four issues underlining the need to carefully and regularly assess the impact on people’s fundamental rights as governments react to the ever-developing pandemic:
This is the first in a series of three monthly reports on the impact of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the 27 EU Member States. It looks at the impact of government measures in place in February and March on people’s fundamental rights.
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