Author: Sidrah Jami, Student at Amity University, Noida.
The paper focuses on the situation of human rights during the coronavirus lockdown. The paper provides an introduction to the concept of human rights and the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The paper also emphasizes on the effects of COVID 19 on human rights. It focuses on the Right to life, right to information, right to health, movement from detention and right to protection. The last section provides a conclusion to the paper.
Coronavirus pandemic has affected many lives all around the world. The first mutant of the virus was found in China Wuhan on 31 December 2019. Since then, the virus started slowly spreading all across the neighboring nations and then all across the world. It has led to many casualties in various countries. There were more than 77,000 cases and 2600 deaths that were witnessed in China by 25 February 2020. Some of the countries that have seen the major effect of the coronavirus outbreak are China, Iran, Iraq, Russia, the United States, Spain, India and Brazil. Human Rights have played a crucial role during the coronavirus pandemic. There have been many limitations that have been placed so that there is no further outbreak of the virus. There has been no vaccine for months in many nations so in lieu of this the governments of different countries have put lockdowns by closing down companies, businesses and educational institutions like universities and schools. One of the most common ways that have been affected to curb the coronavirus is the principle of self-isolation unsocial distancing. Human Rights are the fundamental rights that have been given to an individual since birth. Certain human rights that a person naturally acquires are the right to speak, the right to move, the right to health, the right to information and privacy, not to be arrested arbitrarily on basis of gender, race, caste and creed. Human right is considered to be a normal right that is given and endured to all. Some of the human rights are not given to a man by the implementation of laws but naturally occur because of humanity. The United Nations Organization UNO was established in 1945. Later in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights UDHR was signed between countries. This document has played an important role in preserving the rights of individuals. It was constituted with about 30 articles. Later there were various laws that were added which kept the focus on human rights. India has also witnessed the existence of human rights for ages. Human rights have been found in the Vedas, Manusmritis and the Arthashastra that have an important position the domain of spirituality.
EFFECT ON HUMAN RIGHTS
There have been various rights that have been affected during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the rights that have been affected are listed below:
RIGHT TO LIFE AND HEALTH
The pandemic has affected human rights all across the world. Human rights have been affected as many nations have imposed lockdowns for keeping the civilians inside the houses and keeping them away from confinement and arrest. This right has jellied a number of people globally as most of the people started experiencing depression and negative feelings. Every country all across the world has a right to protect its civilians residing in their nation. Every nation is obligated to protect its citizens from this virus . The policies that are implemented by the governments should help in providing access to every individual to sanitation, health care and adequate food. The policies should also be made with keeping the medical personnel in mind especially when they are dealing with the COVID 19 patients.
RIGHT TO INFORMATION
Information has played a major role in the digital world and in the human rights context. Every nation should provide proper information that is related to cures, health-related problems and the solution to these problems. The information should also be relevant to the number of active cases, deaths and infections. In some cases, there have been secrecy in relation to the information. The International health Regulation laid down that every government has a duty to provide information to the World Health Organization before providing information to the citizens of the country. The government also has a duty of laying out information that should be related to the health data.
RIGHT TO PRIVACY
There has been a use of artificial intelligence and mobile data for raising the concerns in the coronavirus pandemic. These tools have been abused for political purposes. There are various advantages and disadvantages of surveillance. In some countries, it has been laid down that the apps that are used for surveillance are dangerous and risky as they will allow certain agencies to spy on the persons residing in the country. There is also a huge risk of falling of the data into the hands of the criminals. The health tracking systems app can help to gather and collect information for the prevention of disease however it can also pose a huge risk of surveillance. The political parties can turn the situation of health issues to political issues. There has been a launch of Arogya Setu App in India keep a check on the people . There are various apps that use facial recognition cameras, drones and quick response code technology for keeping a check on citizens.
MOVEMENT AND ARREST/ILLEGAL DETENTION
The right to move is one of the most important rights that is given to individuals. This right has been affected because of lockdown. The governments have laid down lockdown and mandatory isolation by keeping the citizens inside the house. There have also been restrictions on the mode of transportation. There have also been different nations where the migrants, poor people and displaced persons have been seen walking for kilometers for getting the basic necessities like food, water and sanitation. There have been other reports which suggested that there has been an increase in the number of cases of severe illness and death . The restrictions that have been placed on human rights have also shown the existence of violations of human rights. In some cases, there have been excessive use of powers by the authoritarian country. A number of protests have been seen in the United States against the lockdowns and restriction of movement. These restrictions that have been placed on movement has led to illegal detention and arbitrary arrest.
RIGHT TO PROTECTION
This right also plays a crucial role in the human rights domain. These rights have been conferred to all the individuals residing in the country. It means that every individual should be protected against the coronavirus pandemic . Proper clothing, safety equipment like N95 masks, PPE kits and health-related information should be provided to every medical person including the health workers that treat the COVID 19 patients. The COVID 19 patients should also be provided with a safe environment for their treatment.
Coronavirus has affected individuals all across the world. The individuals should be provided with nutritious food, clean water and sanitation by the government. Proper information should be given by the health authorities for making the individuals aware in the nation. There should be the protection of the human rights of the individual in India and all across the world.