The new normal way of living as a result of COVID-19 has huge repercussions on the human rights (economic, social and cultural rights) of most vulnerable groups. Human rights as defined by the UN means ‘’rights that are fundamental to all human beings regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion or any other status. These rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more such as clean environment have become important to uphold. Everyone is entitled to these rights without discrimination or threat of any kind’’.
In most low-income countries in Africa, these rights have been violated, which has made its citizens vulnerable. This vulnerability is easily impacted due to existing system challenges and adverse social determinants. In an effort by governments to curb the spread of COVID-19, these human rights have been greatly tampered with. It is true that the virus is a major threat to life but the barrier measures imposed by the states have far reaching consequences which are more threatening to human existence. It is therefore important to address the issues of human rights violation while fighting COVID-19 so that the rights of the vulnerable people are protected.
In this discussion, we shall examine the rights that are not adequately integrated in emergency response policy management and make recommendations concerning measures to limit risks of exacerbation of inequalities.
Our panelists are:
Edwan Ngum Tah, Founder of Haven for Rebirth Cameroon
Ernest Duga Titanji, Founding Member and Senior Partner of the Duga & Co. Law Firm
Tutu Alicante, Founder and Executive Director of EG Justice in Equatorial Guinea