Canada Calls On Nations To Respect Human Rights Amid COVID-19 Outbreak - Ministers

TORONTO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th April, 2020) Canada is calling nations across the world respect human rights governments take restrictive actions to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Development Francois-Philippe Champagne and Karina Gould said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

"Promoting and protecting these essential liberties and rights is, and will remain, a priority for the Government of Canada," the statement said. "Over the course of this crisis, the Government of Canada will work to ensure that vulnerable and marginalized communities, including refugees, internally displaced people and migrants, indigenous, LGBTQ2I+, and religious and ethnic minority communities, are not victimized under the cover of public health."

The ministers added that Canada stands with the United Nation Secretary-General's call to curb sexual and gender-based violence amid the pandemic.

On April 6, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that domestic violence has surged due to lockdowns imposed in many countries, as police and health care workers are already overwhelmed and understaffed, and domestic violence shelters are either full or closed.

The UN chief called on governments around the world to take measures against domestic violence amid the health crisis, including setting up emergency warnings in grocery shops and pharmacies.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11. To date, more than 1,450,000 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, of which more than 85,000 have succumbed to the deadly virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.