CARDH provides its comments on the draft President’s Statement (PRST) on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 crisis

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Port-au-Prince, 28 April 2020

Mrs President of the Human Rights Council,

In response to your letter of 24th April 2020, Le Centre d’Analyse et de Recherche en Droits de l’Homme (CARDH), in its capacity as an ECOSOC accredited NGO and an observer of the Human Rights Council, has the honour to provide you with its comments on the draft President’s Statement (PRST) on the human rights implications of the COVID-19 crisis, to be adopted by the Council, by way of a silence procedure.

CARDH, deeply concerned with the severe impact of the pandemic on societies and recognising the urgency for a united response fully respectful of human rights, welcomes this initiative. In this sense, CARDH would like to make the following comments:

In the preamble , CARDH recommends that a mention to low-income countries specifically, whose populations are most vulnerable, shall be added, with concerns regarding the pandemic’s impact on perpetuating and accelerating poverty, food insecurity and social inequalities in fragile States.

CARDH welcomes the emphasis in paragraph 6 of the preamble that the COVID19 pandemic can “only be countered effectively by international cooperation, unity, solidarity and collective action based on a multilateral approach and strong international institutions.”
On that matter, CARDH considers that new international cooperation parameters shall be define in order to provide the appropriate assistance to low-income countries where their lack of resources and of stable national institutions may impede on their capacity to respond to the pandemic and hinder the implementation of non-discriminatory emergency measures.

In paragraph 3 , CARDH would add: “ Calls upon States to ensure that all human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled while combatting the pandemic and that their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are in full compliance with their permanent human rights obligations and commitments.”

CARDH reiterates its compliments to the members of the Council and all observers and, sends its highest consideration to Ms the President of the Human Rights Council.

Gédéon Jean
Director of CARDH