Source: Vientiane Time
The United Nations in Laos has called for an end to discrimination against people who are affected by COVID-19 as such actions violate human rights.
This international organisation made the call via multiple media platforms following numerous people posting and sharing photos of the coronavirus affected especially infected victims on social media with some accusing them of being disease spreaders.
The key messages, which the UN in Laos delivered to local audiences and the international community include not posting and sharing photos of people who are infected with COVID-19; only posting and sharing information from official sources.; and staying at home to avoid imposing risk on others.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 is not an excuse for discrimination. Stigma does not help to fight the virus but makes us weaker. Only together, we can overcome the virus by being kind to each other and especially those who are most vulnerable – including the elderly, the poor, minorities and migrants,” the UN posted on its Facebook page.
In a message to Vientiane Times, the UN Resident Coordinator in Laos said that discrimination may limit the opportunity for COVID 19 affected people including migrants, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and the poor to access healthcare services, information or their livelihoods.
“In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, we are all vulnerable, but there are those who are particularly exposed to exclusion, stigma and discrimination which may limit their access to health services, information or livelihoods. These include migrants, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and the poorest part of the population,” she said.
“We need collective solidarity and clear, actionable information to support communities and people affected by this new outbreak. It is also vital to ensure that everyone has equal access to health services and is effectively included in national responses to COVID-19. Inclusion will help not only to protect the rights of all people but will also serve to protect public health and stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country.”