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UN warning that COVID-19 risks become human rights crisis a 'timely reminder' to put the most vulnerable first

‘A world that protects the rights of a lucky few is unhealthy and unsustainable’ – Steve Cockburn

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has published a report on the need for a human rights centred response to COVID-19, warning that the pandemic risks becoming a human rights crisis.

Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Global Issues, said:

“António Guterres’ report is a timely reminder that human rights need to be at the centre of the response and recovery.

“Homelessness, lack of access to healthcare, suppression of information and unemployment are all human rights issues. Poor prison conditions and overcrowded refugee camps are suddenly front-page news, but to many people this suffering has been a daily reality for as long as they can remember.

“This pandemic has wrenched away the distractions that have allowed us to pretend that violations against people who live far away or look different are not our concern.

“If one person is sick with COVID-19 we are all at risk, and the same is true for human rights. A world that protects the rights of a lucky few is unhealthy and unsustainable.”

Amnesty is monitoring human rights violations that take place in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the right to health, access to information, right to housing, water and sanitation, discrimination, and rights to and at work. More information here.

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