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ENNHRI Statement on Pandemic

The Public Defender of Georgia joins the joint statement of the National Human Rights Institutions in Europe on the need for solidarity on human rights in the context of the novel coronavirus disease pandemic. The joint statement was released by the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, which unites more than 40 National Human Rights Institutions in Europe.

According to the statement, the National Human Rights Institutions in Europe have monitored the states’ measures and restrictions since the pandemic began, while advising governments and parliaments on human rights standards and informing the public about their rights during this crisis.

The statement calls on the states to cooperate proactively with National Human Rights Institutions in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The statement also stresses that the measures taken by the states should be proportionate and should not discriminate. Particular attention should be paid to the needs of vulnerable groups, including women, older people, persons with disabilities, children, migrants, people seeking asylum and people living in poverty or homelessness.

The statement underlines the following principles:

  • Human rights remain in force in a time of crisis
  • Measures must be legally-based, proportionate and time-limited
  • Measures cannot have any discriminatory impacts
  • Situations of vulnerability must be addressed
  • Broad public debate is as important as ever
  • Parliaments must hold governments to account
  • Judicial independence must be protected
  • Restrictions on democratic rights must be kept in check
  • States should engage with their NHRIs

The statement is available at: <http://ennhri.org/statement-on-covid-19/>.

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