Role of WHO during pandemic in light of human rights

Human rights are key in shaping this pandemic for both public health and people’s livelihood. WHO declared novel coronavirus disease as a pandemic and the call for countries to take immediate actions.

Human rights are centre- stage,by ensuring healthcare for everyone and preserving human dignity. The world is facing an unmatched crises. In this time priority is to save lives. To save lives, extensive lockdowns were adopted to slow the transmission of virus that has restricted the freedom of movement from people. These had affected people’s livelihoods,growth. Above all this crises, human rights focus on how it is affecting people and what can be done for future.

Human rights guide states on how to exercise the power so that it is used for the benefit of the people,not to harm them. In this current situation, human rights help the states to recalibrate their measures to maximize their effectiveness. The scale of COVID-19 now reaches a level where restrictions are necessary. This is the only time when human rights are needed the most rather than neglecting that will also focus on achieving sustainable development and peace. There are 3 rights that are in the frontline of the current pandemic:-

  • Right to life and duty to protect life: We are fighting to protect human lives fromCOVID19 that reminds us that state have a duty to protect human life of every individual. States are making extraordinary efforts in doing so and their primary focus is up to that.
    • The right to health and access to health care: The right to health is inherent to right to life. Every human being is entitled to the enjoyment of best healthcare facilities,regardless their social or economic status. Everyone must be entitled for the basic healthcare facilities like testing, intensive care by providing vaccination, regardless of ability to pay.
  • The central challenge is freedom of movement: To control this virus and breaking the chain of virus people must stop moving. The most important measure taken by state is restricting the freedom of movement which is to safe lives.The world is discovering, freedom of movement as a crucial right that also facilitates the enjoyment of many other rights.

Moreover, these crises has revealed the weakness of country that human rights can help to fix it.Human rights help us to develop strategy for future generations to deal with such intense situations in future. The WHO emphasized on COVID19 pandemic that all countries must have a fine balance between protecting health and respecting human rights. Human rights are the framework that strengthen the global efforts.

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