Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (28 April) on human rights protection in the Covid-19 pandemic:
I welcome the appeal by UN Secretary-General Guterres and strongly support his call to enshrine the worldwide protection of human rights as a key element of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Germany has a special responsibility in this regard.
I share concerns that the pandemic is increasingly giving way to a human rights crisis. We must do everything in our power to counter this actively and to safeguard the protection of human rights. At the heart of this is the fact that every human being has a right to life as well as access to healthcare. No one must be rejected or left behind – regardless of their origin or membership of a particular group. This also applies to the fair and equitable access to vaccines and medicines.
We must pay particular attention to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Let me first mention in this regard women and children, who are increasingly exposed to domestic violence in the wake of lockdown measures. We must resolutely oppose this development. It is also important that all measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic are appropriate and proportionate. Nowhere in the world may civil and political rights or economic, social and cultural rights fall victim to acts of repression.
The international community must stand shoulder to shoulder now – also in the protection of human rights. We must work together to resolutely oppose human rights violations that take place under the cover of the crisis or under the pretence of fighting the pandemic.