Dismayed by reports of Muslims being targeted by stigma; says UN HR Chief

Dismayed by reports of Muslims being targeted by stigma; says UN HR Chief

(FASTNEWS | COLOMBO) –

The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said she was dismayed by the reports of Muslims being targeted by stigma and hate speech associating them with COVID-19 in India and Sri Lanka.

“I am dismayed by reports indicating that in many countries, members of minority communities and migrants face increasing stigmatisation, including in some cases, by officials. In Sri Lanka and India, members of the Muslim minority are being targeted by stigma and hate speech associating them with COVID-19,”Bachelet who was speaking on the 44th session of the Human Rights Council said on Tuesday.

The statement also notes that the stigmatisation and hate crimes against minorities and people infected with coronavirus in countries like Pakistan, Bulgaria, Haiti and Iraq.

The session focused on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on human rights situations across the globe. She said amidst the pandemic the challenges to ensure states uphold human rights “are rising sharply today”.  “It is clear that this epidemic threatens both peace and development – and that it calls for more civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, not less,” she said.

The present situation, she stressed, “urgently calls for leadership grounded in clarity, evidence and principle to protect the most vulnerable members of society, and to address the profound inequalities that are accelerating the pandemic’s incidence and impact.”

Bachlet further said human rights should be at the heart of response to the pandemic.

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