Govt must allocate adequate resources to frontline workers: ZLHR

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has called on the government to allocate adequate resources to personnel on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, to mark the International Human Rights Day, ZLHR also called on the government to take concrete measures that address the human rights situation and curb the continued spread of Coronavirus in the country.

International Human Rights Day which is celebrated on the 10th of December annually, comes at a time when the world is battling with the Coronavirus pandemic which has claimed millions of lives worldwide.

This year`s theme is, recover better and stand up for human rights.

In a bid to contain the spread of the virus, the government imposed a national lockdown in March.  

However, there were reports of human rights violations in most parts of the country by state security agents deployed to enforce lockdown regulations.

“International Human Rights Day is set aside to commemorate the values enshrined in the Universal declaration of Human rights. This year’s theme ‘Recover Better, stand up for Human rights’ places respect and upholding of human rights at the heart of recovery efforts to end the spread of Covid-19,” said ZLHR.

They said the theme relates to the devastating coronavirus pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring human rights are central in re-building in the rebuilding process.

“As the whole world grapples with Covid-19 pandemic, communities around the world need to show unprecedented solidarity and compassion to assist each other to pull through during this challenging moment.”

ZLHR noted that state actors used the lockdown as a smokescreen to escalate a systematic assault on human rights defenders and ordinary citizens and restricting their fundamental rights and freedom in a bid to consolidate executive power.

“The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) issued resolution 443 on the human rights situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe condemning the deteriorating situation and the authorities response to the devastating effects of Covid-19 which include disproportionate use of force by law enforcement agents curtailment of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.Resolution 443 also urges all governments to protect and respect the rights of medical practitioners, journalists and human rights defenders,” said ZLHR.

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