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24
Jun
20
Covid-19 and Human Rights Implications: A Call For Evidence

Covid-19 and Human Rights Implications: A Call For Evidence Featured

In recent months a flurry of emails, text messages and phone calls, expressed frustration, anger, resentment, anxiety and worry about an unprecedented piece of legislation that had been passed in the U.K. to enact mandatory vaccination following the coronavirus pandemic. One such text stated:
“It’s very troubling to think one will be forced against our will. I don’t think having this vaccination will do anyone any good, as vaccinations takes years to develop; and when one is found, if that’s the case, we don’t know the repercussions of having it…”

The two distinct videos doing the rounds on social media purported that changes had been made to the Public Health (Control of Infectious Diseases) Act 1984, and thus brought into force, on the 27 April 2020, mandatory vaccination as a medical treatment for coronavirus. A section of our community took this as true without questioning. The UK government’s response to the issue of mandatory vaccination was inconclusive. On 4 May 2020, at a Downing Street press briefing, the Honorable Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, stated that no such step would be taken. However, on 21 May, a member of the public (Finlay from Ardrossan) asked: “If a vaccine is developed, will it be mandatory?  If not, how will you bridge the difference in opinion between those who believe it necessary and those who do not?” Hancock replied, “The question of whether it’s mandatory is not one we have addressed yet,” thus indicating a change from the previous response on mandatory vaccination.

A Human Rights (Joint Committee) have launched a Call for Evidence under the title ‘The Government’s Response to COVID-19 Human Rights Implications.’ The committee would like to hear from members of the public, on how COVID-19 has impacted their lives and their communities; and whether the U.K.’s response, generally, has been sufficient in light of the known threat to life under article 2 ECHR, the underfunding of Health Services, the lack of PPE for medical staff and care workers, general unpreparedness and the apparent disproportionate impact on BME communities.

The link below clarifies the issues and invites individuals to participate in the Call for Evidence written submissions:

This link provides the process to the Government’s response to COVID-19 human rights implications:

https://www.adventrlp.com/item/70-the-government-s-response-to-covid-19-human-rights-implications

The consultation process closes on 22 July 2020. This is an opportunity for us, in a measured, respectful and balanced way, to make our voices heard as a Seventh-day Adventist church community.

Brighton Kavaloh

Brighton G. Kavaloh is a retired Seventh-day Adventist ordained Minister of Religion. He is the Founder and Director of Advent Religio-Legal Perspective.

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