Director of EU FRA: Racism has no place in combating coronavirus, human rights limitations must be proportionate
The director of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, Michael O'Flaherty, has issued a video message about the response to the coronavirus and its impact on human rights protections. News server Romea.cz is providing a transcription of that message here:
A couple of days ago, I was shocked, talking to a waiter in a restaurant, when he said to me that the solution to the coronavirus epidemic is to stop migrants coming into his country, because, according to him, they have poor hygiene standards. That shocking remark brought home to me the extent to which the current situation is as much one of human rights as it is of public health.
Absolutely we need strong public health responses right now, well-informed, transparently rolled out, but at the same time, we have to be very vigilant for the respect of the human rights of everyone. It's never acceptable, for instance, to target people just because of their perceived nationality or ethnicity.
It's never acceptable to pick on somebody in the street and to beat them up because somebody thinks they might be a carrier of the virus. On the other hand, it is reasonable to limit some of our human rights about access to school, access to the workplace, who we can meet with in the present time - but such limitations must be proportionate to the good that they are seeking to achieve.
Measures like that also need to take of the particular situation of certain groups in our society - old people seeking access to hospital, children whose only square meal a day comes from the schoolroom, parents who are impacted in the workplace because of child-minding duties - and these are just a tiny number of the human rights issues that present themselves as we combat the virus. The Fundamental Rights Agency right now is mapping the range of human rights issues across our Member States.
We'll publish our findings in the next few weeks, together with strong recommendations on how we can fight the fake news. We can deliver for the human right to health of our people while also respecting the human rights of everyone.
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency to publish results of research with Roma and Travellers in six EU Member States
- EU Agency for Fundamental Rights finds Czech Republic the place that rejects Romani people the most
- LIVE BROADCAST: EU Fundamental Rights Agency publishes findings on discrimination of minorities in the EU
- Czech MP Jeroným Tejc wants to propose amendment to accelerate deportations and alter Charter of Fundamental Rights
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency holds workshop on indicators of Romani integration
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency says efforts to achieve equality and fight discrimination must step up
- Commentary: Work on antisemitism by US professor reminds us of antigypsyism in the Czech Republic today
- European Commission acknowledges racism is structural and beefs up the fight against racial discrimination
- Czech town to see exhibition by pro-Romani and Romani artists referencing the Black Lives Matter movement
- COMMENTARY: Even if the Czech Public Defender of Rights repeats the same lie about Roma a thousand times, that won't make it true
- Czech school claims it's "random" that white children are segregated from Romani children in separate first-grade class
- Newest Czech party tries to exploit altercations between Vlax Romani families as part of its election campaign
- Czech commentator expected stronger condemnation by politicians of the racist reactions to the worst arson attack since 1990
- Czech MP who said she "understood" racist death threats against Romani and other non-white children switches parties
- Tomáš Ščuka: Czech ombudsman's opinions just confirm his incompetence
- Czech Public Defender of Rights says he is against "special treatment" for Romani people
- Czech police use dehumanizing terms if incidents involve Romani people, the media parrot them - and then pogroms begin
- Best Reality, Stars reality corporation s.r.o., DůmRealit.cz, Broker´s Team, CENTURY 21 Finem caught on tape rejecting Roma tenants in Czech Republic, only CENTURY 21 apologizes