UN: “alarming rise” in minority attacks around COVID-19 fears

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Credit: UN

GENEVA (WLNS) – As COVID-19 fears increase, a press release from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner is warning of the alarming rise in verbal and physical abuses against Chinese and other minorities with some even being denied access to health care and information about the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is not just a health issue; it can also be a virus that exacerbates xenophobia, hate, and exclusion,” said Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues.

Federal law enforcement is warning of an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans as the coronavirus crisis continues to grow, according to a new FBI analysis obtained by ABC News.

In a recent article, GQ Reporter Chris Gayomali talked to Asian-Americans in New York, the U.S. epicenter of the outbreak. Many in the community described experiencing unusually aggressive behavior that has altered how they go about their daily lives.

The spike in anti-Asian sentiment has many choosing between taking measures to protect themselves from a highly contagious virus versus making themselves appear invisible in public.

Tiffany Hsu from Brooklyn said, “I’ve literally been like, How can I make myself look less Asian when I go out?”

“When we do go out I’m the one who carries the baby,” said Joy Yoon, a Korean-American. “It’s weird. But it’s like added protection. I feel like people are less likely to harass me if I have my child with me.”

“Reports of Chinese and other Asians being physically attacked; of hate speech blaming minorities including Roma, Hispanics, and others for the spread of the virus; and of politicians calling for migrants to be denied access to medical services, all show that States need to urgently emphasize that the human rights of everyone, in particular of the most vulnerable and marginalized, must be protected,” said de Varennes.

The UN expert expressed concerns at numerous reports of xenophobia and exclusion of minorities in different parts of the world.

“Millions of individuals, particularly minorities and indigenous peoples, may not have access to what are arguably the most important public health messages in generations,” de Varennes added. “The coronavirus outbreak endangers the health of all of us, with no distinction as to language, religion or ethnicity. But some are more vulnerable than others.”

“Combatting the epidemic requires tackling its darker sides. Firm actions by States and all of us to safeguard the human rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized, including minorities, indigenous communities, and migrants, are urgent and necessary,” the Special Rapporteur concluded.

联合国专家:不应利用对2019冠状病毒病的恐慌攻击和排斥少数群体

联合国人权专家表示,一些团体和政客利用人们对2019冠状病毒病的恐慌,将少数群体当作替罪羊,由此导致了针对中国人和其他少数群体在言语和身体上虐待行为的激增,其中一些人甚至被拒绝获得医疗服务和疫情信息。

联合国少数群体问题特别报告员费尔南·德瓦雷纳(Fernand de Varennes)表示:“2019冠状病毒病不仅仅是健康问题,也可能成为一种加剧仇外心理、仇恨和排斥的病毒。”

“有关中国人和其他亚洲人遭到人身攻击的报告,指责罗姆人、西班牙裔和其他少数群体传播病毒的仇恨言论,以及一些政客禁止移民获得医疗服务的呼吁,都表明各国政府亟需强调每一个人的人权都必须得到保护,尤其是最脆弱和最边缘化人群的人权。”

该名联合国专家对世界各地大量有关仇外心理和排斥少数群体的报告表示关切,这些报道的内容包括禁止无证件移民获得医疗服务的呼吁、缺乏包括手语在内的少数群体语言版本的疫情信息等。

德瓦雷纳表示:“数百万人,特别是少数群体和土著人民,可能无法获得可以说是几代人以来最重要的公共卫生信息。”

“世界上的最脆弱群体往往也最迟获得援助。因此,国际社会和各国政府必须密切合作,向他们提供信息,帮助并保护他们。这包括尽可能使用他们自己的语言与其进行交流,以便有效地传播重要的公共卫生信息和提供医疗服务,并采取措施保护他们免受人身虐待和仇恨言论的伤害。”

“新冠状病毒暴发威胁着我们所有人的健康,不分语言、宗教或族裔。但有些人比其他人更脆弱。我们每个人都能够采取行动,抵制社交媒体上针对亚裔和其他少数群体的歧视和仇恨言论,包括在社交媒体上使用‘#我不是病毒’(#IAmNotAVirus or #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus)的标签来加入我们表达支持的讯息。

特别报告员最后表示:“抗击疫情就必须解决其中更阴暗的层面。 各国和我们所有人为维护包括少数群体、土著社群和移民在内的最脆弱和最边缘化群体的人权所采取的坚决行动是紧迫且必要的。”

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