While the coronavirus does not discriminate, data tells us that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore profound systemic inequalities, and has exacted a devastating social, economic and health toll on Ontario’s most vulnerable people and communities. I am writing today to stress the important role that human rights principles, considerations and obligations should play in vaccine distribution planning.
COVID-19 and human rights
I am writing further to my letters of October 16, 2020, and November 6, 2020, requesting an opportunity to meet with you to discuss next steps for a consultation with human rights stakeholders on the latest draft of the COVID-19 critical care triage protocol.
I am writing to follow up on my letter to you dated October 16, 2020, about the COVID-19 Bioethics Table’s recommendations and proposed framework for a triage protocol to allocate limited critical care services in a potential major surge in COVID-19 cases.
On October 16, 2020, the OHRC wrote to the Minister of Health raising concerns about the proposed framework for a COVID-19 triage protocol to allocate limited critical care services in a potential major surge in COVID-19 cases. Read the letter.
The OHRC encourages the government to once again heed the advice of health and human rights experts who agree that Ontario needs demographic data to effectively fight COVID-19.
TORONTO – Today the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released a policy statement to guide all levels of government to adopt a human rights-based approach to managing policy, legal, regulatory, public health and emergency-related responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has the mandate to make policies that provide guidance on human rights obligations under the Code and to make recommendations that promote human rights during situations of tension or conflict.
This document sets out various actions that governments can take that are broadly consistent with a human rights-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions are neither comprehensive nor exhaustive. Instead, they are a compilation of possible responses that are consistent with Canada and Ontario’s human rights obligations.
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, it has the potential to touch all 7.8 billion of us. Most of us have not lived through another crisis so permeable to the boundaries of nationality, race, creed and social class. COVID-19 has already taken tens of thousands of innocent lives around the world and, in the process, exposed our common hopes and fears.
As a component of the OHRC’s ongoing monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHRC will periodically update this chart with statements and resources from human rights commissions across Canada, as well as Indigenous and international governments and organizations.