Ensure reasonable exceptions during restricted movement: HRADC
April 25, 2021 5:18 am
The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission is working with authorities to ensure there are reasonable exceptions during the times of restricted movement.
Commission Director Ashwin Raj says authorities must ensure that COVID-19 related restrictions do not have a disproportionate and discriminatory effect on the public.
Raj says there must be reasonable exceptions to allow access to subsistence rights such as food, healthcare, transportation during medical emergencies, shelter particularly in the context of domestic violence and other basic necessities.
He says the Commission is working closely with the Fiji Police Force in ensuring households and individuals have access to basic food and other essential items during lockdowns and other COVID-19 related restrictions.
Raj says the Commission has received complaints from Nadi that resident are not being allowed to pass certain check points to go shopping for food and accessing banks and paying utility bills.
He says the Commission has contacted the Fiji Police Force to assist the public in situations of emergency but the public too need to act responsibly.
The Commission Director says COVID-19 should not be used to abuse the right to privacy, to discriminate and stigmatize, particularly those who may be residing in lockdown areas, or communities which have been screened for COVID-19 or if they once tested positive for COVID19.
Raj also highlighted that a woman was reportedly denied access to a supermarket because she resided in Cunningham, Suva, a part of which is under lockdown.
The Commission is calling on the supermarkets, banks and pharmacies to avoid targeting shoppers based on where they reside.
Raj stresses that all public health advice must be taken seriously and adhered to.