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Appealed European and UN human rights experts
Early in this month, the Commissioner for Human Right of the Council of Europe expressed her concern on the specific difficulties that persons with disabilities are facing during the lockdown in European countries.
“Most member states rightly imposed social distancing measures to reduce the spread of the virus, but they have not been systematically attentive to the specific circumstances and needs of persons with disabilities”, who might rely on the supports and assistance of others. The Commissioner for Human Rights urged the governments to not leave behind persons with disabilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She reminded that according to Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, states should take “all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters”.
She also recalled the statement of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, who warned that much more need to be done to provide people with disabilities with the guidance and support needed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.