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COVID-19 Human Rights Statement 25 March 2020

25 Mar 2020

COVID-19 Human Rights Statement 25 March 2020

The Human Rights Commission has issued a statement on the Covid-19 pandemic. The Commission has stressed the importance for everyone to follow the advice of the Government, Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Agency as it will save lives and protect health care and other frontline workers.

The Chief Commissioner Les Allamby stated:

“Every aspect of our daily lives is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the face of a public emergency which threatens the fabric of our society, government is introducing temporary measures that severely limit our freedoms.

Protecting the fundamental right to life is at stake, and our elected leaders are obliged to ensure its protection.

Upholding the right to health alongside shielding the most vulnerable members of our communities from an existential threat is a legitimate aim. The required social distancing and self-isolation policies that have been introduced are a challenge for us all that impact our family life and freedoms of association and movement. But at a moment of such gravity, severe restrictions of our basic rights are necessary.

This time of global crisis does not mean that human rights take a back seat altogether. The emergency powers being taken by government are unprecedented and far reaching. We will review them against human rights standards and will continue to advise on the appropriateness of the powers being introduced, to help determine the extent to which those measures are strictly required by the circumstances of the public health emergency facing us all. We will monitor how the application of the powers are used in practice and respond to the Joint Human Rights Select Committee invitation to submit evidence on the powers and how they are used.

The Commission asks everyone to follow the Government’s advice and to all play our part in ensuring we get through this crisis.

Advice from the Commission

We are continuing to work from home in line with Government’s advice. If you require advice or support from the Commission please contact or 02890243987 and press 1 for reception and a member of staff will be in touch as soon as possible.

Further information:

For further information please contact Claire Martin on: (028) 9024 3987 or by email on 07717731873

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