Amnesty calls for guaranteeing human rights of the most vulnerable

in News · 19-03-2020 17:29:00 · 0 Comments

Amnesty International Portugal today called on the authorities to guarantee the human rights of the most vulnerable people, in the context of the declaration of a state of emergency to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It is vital that human rights are the principle of all prevention, preparation, containment and treatment efforts to protect public health and support groups and people most at risk," says Amnesty International (AI), in a statement released on 19 March by the organization in Portugal.

In a time of state of emergency, the measures to be applied, he stresses, "must be consistent" with the general principles of human rights.

In the statement, Amnesty stresses that this is an unprecedented situation and recognizes the need for the measures adopted, but calls on the authorities to jointly "work urgently" to increase the human and material resources necessary to guarantee access to health to all the people.

"At the same time, it is essential to increase the safety of all health professionals who are at the forefront of combating Covid-19, through protective materials and detection tests," the document reads.

The organization also recalls that all people who are in Portugal "must have access, without any kind of discrimination, to medical care", including migrants in an irregular administrative situation.

AI Portugal asks the authorities to reinforce social and economic protection measures to ensure that those who are most vulnerable or whose income may be affected by this crisis maintain "a minimum level to access and enjoy all their rights, including the right to housing and food".

"The case of homeless people deserves special attention at this point, demanding that the authorities ensure measures that protect their right to health", reads the document.

The same applies to "informal neighbourhood residents", where access to water and sanitation is sometimes limited, which means that they "face more barriers to their protection".

For women victims of gender-based violence, Amnesty asks that, in the context of movement restriction measures, the authorities reinforce telephone contacts and information about the existing resources for their protection.

"Although the State is responsible for the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to health, citizens, institutions and companies also have a role to play", warns the organization for the defence of human rights.

For Amnesty, this is "an hour of national and international solidarity".


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