Government measures to combat COVID-19 have profound implications for everybody’s fundamental rights, including the right to life and to health, as mapped by a new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report. Government responses to stop the virus particularly affect the rights of already vulnerable or at-risk people, such as the elderly, children, people with disabilities, Roma or refugees. Respecting human rights and protecting public health is in everyone’s best interest – they have to go hand-in-hand. The FRA report provides an overview of the impact of the measures of the 27 EU Member States on daily life, vulnerable groups, racism and disinformation and data protection.
The fundamental rights implications of the measures taken by the Belgian government, in place since 18 March 2020, must be closely monitored in the coming weeks, to ensure that there are no disproportionate impacts on access to education, access to asylum, rights of prisoners and protection of personal data. The Belgian report, compiled by FRC as national contractor for the FRA, provides a preliminary analysis and assessment of the fundamental rights impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.