07 July 2020

National Human Rights Committee reviews efforts to combat COVID-19


The country has always prioritised human beings as the core of development and has sought to apply the provisions of the Constitution, which guarantees equality, social justice, and civil and religious freedoms.

Moreover, while chairing the first meeting of the National Human Rights Committee, Gargash addressed the precautionary and preventative measures taken by the UAE in various fields to protect the public from COVID-19. In this regard, he said, “Thanks to its wise leadership, the UAE has spared no effort since the outbreak of the pandemic to prioritise the wellbeing of citizens and residents through various precautionary and preventative measures, including the adoption of national strategies to combat the pandemic in the areas of health, education, and food security. The UAE also enacted national legislation and regulations that contributed significantly to curbing the virus? spread.”

He noted that the measures taken by the UAE Government followed technical recommendations issued by various specialised international organisations and UN human rights agencies.

“These principles have contributed to strengthening and developing the UAE’s efforts in combating the pandemic. The UAE has also shared experiences and best practices in the fight against the pandemic with other countries, believing in the need to intensify cooperation and join the international community in confronting COVID-19,” he added.

Moreover, Gargash underscored that the UAE has provided the highest quality treatment and preventative services in accordance with international standards to all those who live in the UAE without any distinction between citizens and residents. Moreover, several initiatives and programmes were launched by the UAE to promote and protect human rights, including in health and education, as well as the rights of women, youth, senior citizens, workers, and inmates in penal institutions.

In this regard, he noted that since the start of the outbreak, the UAE has recognised the threat the virus may pose to inmates and has taken precautionary and preventative measures to protect them.

These measures have included the regular sterilisation of prison wards and health facilities, in addition to the installation of thermal cameras, the establishment of safe quarantine facilities, and the provision of supplies such as hand sanitisers and masks. Tests and medical examinations have also been conducted among inmates, staff, and guards in penal institutions, and social distancing has been implemented.

The National Human Rights Committee is scheduled to soon publish information on the UAE’s role in promoting and protecting human rights in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. /WAM