Coronavirus restrictions are meant to save lives, but for authoritarian leaders they can be an excuse to adopt repressive measures.
And the covid-19 emergency is fast becoming a human rights crisis. That’s the warning from the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres.
He’s highlighted a rise in hate speech, the targeting of vulnerable groups and heavy handed security responses.
He’s also said there is discrimination in the way public services are being delivered to tackle the pandemic.
The UN says aggressive cyber policies are increasingly being used.
Journalists, health workers and activists are being targetted.
Guterres did not specifically name countries violating human rights.
But how difficult is it to balance that fight and basic rights?
Presenter: Richelle Carey
Anna-Karin Jatfors, Deputy Regional Director at United Nations Women.
Daoud Kuttab, journalist.
Frederick Rawski, Director for the Asia & the Pacific Programme at the International Commission of Jurists.
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In This Story: COVID-19
Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.
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The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
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- a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
- shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)
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The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security.
At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; with the addition of South Sudan in 2011, membership is now 193, representing almost all of the world’s sovereign states.