Why are human rights a restriction

Corona and human rights

The corona pandemic poses great challenges for mankind. In Germany, too, politics and society are concerned with the immediate and expected consequences of the viral disease COVID-19. Medical, political and economic debates take up a large part of this; the current development of the pandemic and the associated restrictions on public life give rise to ever new discussions.

National and international human rights institutions can play an important role in dealing with the pandemic. Because human rights also apply in times of crisis and ensure binding guidance. Even more: For governments, human rights are a binding measure of how they have to react to the pandemic. From the central human right to health, the duty to guarantee health protection for everyone equally is derived. In crisis situations, a state can also enforce this by restricting other human rights. At the same time, however, the protection of health as a legitimate aim must not lead to excessive restrictions on other rights or to discrimination against certain groups of the population.

The corona crisis has a major human rights dimension: In addition to the protection of life and the right to health, other basic and human rights are directly or indirectly affected by the effects of the pandemic - for example the right to freedom of assembly or the right to education. In addition, especially in crisis situations, it is advisable to pay particular attention to people in vulnerable situations. These include homeless people, the elderly, children and young people and people with disabilities. Last but not least, Corona exacerbates existing social inequalities, worldwide - and also in Germany.

The institute has published a number of statements, press releases and information since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. They call for political action to be based on human rights, consider social security systems and aid packages in the light of human rights, and focus on particularly disadvantaged groups of people.