Human Rights in the Spotlight in the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) - The international community, represented by the UN and other international organizations, is urging states to ensure respect for human rights when taking government measures to combat the threat to public health in the context of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
In particular, the community calls to take measures to protect the right to life and health and ensure access to medical care for all who need it, without any discrimination, and also pay special attention to vulnerable segments of the population that may be most at risk of COVID-19, including the elderly, the disabled, women, migrants, and the homeless.
In countries with comprehensive travel restrictions, governments should use all available means to ensure that children and adolescents have access to education through distance learning. In addition, states are obligated to provide the most vulnerable groups of the population with basic goods and services so that no one is left without attention.
More and more countries are introducing stringent measures that directly affect human rights, including restricting freedom of movement and privacy. A state of emergency and any other security quarantine measures should be based on the principles of protecting human rights.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed the fact that some governments, as well as international organizations, are beginning to take steps to mitigate the impact of the virus on economic and social rights.
Under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, on 26 March, the video conference on strengthening the counteraction to the spread of coronavirus infection took place.
As you know, the pandemic of this disease has a negative impact on the entire world community. In our country, all the forces and means have been mobilized to prevent the wide spread of infection and the treatment of patients with it.
The Anti-Crisis Fund has been created, measures are being taken to mitigate the negative impact of the outbreak of coronavirus infection on economic sectors. Many benefits and preferences for this were introduced by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. State bodies and non-governmental organizations have been instructed on the need to send at least 50 percent of workers on paid leave, transferring the remaining to remote work. Measures are being taken to organize the delivery of food, hygiene products and medicines for single elderly people, families without a breadwinner, and also in remote areas.
In connection with the emergence of an acute epidemiological situation in the world, citizens of Uzbekistan who are abroad are gradually returning to their homeland and are provided with the necessary medical services.
The country’s parliament passed a law criminalizing the dissemination of inaccurate information about quarantine and other infections dangerous to humans, as well as their dissemination through publication or reproduction of the text in another way or through the media and the Internet.
The law also strengthens the criminal liability for violation of sanitary legislation or the rules for combating epidemics, which entailed the emergence of a real threat of mass infection or poisoning of people if the requirements of the State Sanitary Inspectorate regarding medical examination and treatment, arrival at a designated place for quarantine and non-excision are not met without good reason from it at the established time, non-disclosure of information about persons in the incubation period of the disease and places of their stay, as well as other legal requirements.
In addition, the Code of Administrative Responsibility is supplemented by a norm envisaging the application of coercive measures in the conditions of occurrence and spread of quarantine and other infections dangerous to humans. At the same time, administrative responsibility for violating mandatory rules established to prevent the occurrence or spread of quarantine and other infections dangerous to humans is being strengthened.
The law also envisages administrative responsibility for staying in public places without a mask in conditions of the emergence and spread of quarantine and other infections dangerous to humans, including non-compliance with the hospital’s internal routine in these conditions, as well as failure to comply with the requirements of the State Sanitary Inspection regarding medical examination and treatment, arrival at a designated place for quarantine and non-exemption from it at a specified time to, the identity of persons in the incubation period of the disease, and their places of residence and other legal requirements.
Medical and sanitary-epidemiological service workers are selfless in preventing the spread of coronavirus infection, ensuring the health and sanitary-epidemiological well-being of the population. A resolution of the President of Uzbekistan on additional social and material support to medical workers, workers of the sanitary-epidemiological service and other workers involved in counteracting the spread of coronavirus infection was adopted.
In this difficult situation, the unanimity and generosity inherent in our people are reflected even more vividly in selfless acts, more and more funds are being received in the public fund “Uzbekistan Mehr-shafqat va salomatlik”.
Employees of the National Center for Human Rights and the editorial board of the journal Democratization and Human Rights also contributed to this good cause and voluntarily transferred funds to this fund as gratuitous assistance.
These days, such actions unite our people even more and strengthen tolerance. As the head of state noted, “the coronavirus pandemic is a test sent by the Almighty to all of humanity.” Only through the joint efforts of each of us, society and the state, the world community, we will defeat this pandemic.