The Government’s response to Covid-19: human rights implications
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has announced measures which aim to protect individuals’ right to life (Article 2 ECHR) and further steps will need to be taken over the coming days, weeks and months. Amongst other measures, it is expected that the Government will introduce emergency legislation on Thursday giving it new powers which are intended to help in containing and coping with the pandemic in the UK.
As this situation develops the UK Parliament’s Human Rights Committee will seek to examine the Government’s actions to ensure that its approach is compliant with human rights – not least the right to life (Article 2 ECHR). While it is likely that steps will need to be taken that interfere with human rights, for example the right to liberty (Article 5 ECHR) and the right to respect for family life (Article 8 ECHR), this must be done in a way that is proportionate.
The impact of these measures will be widely felt, and some groups will be affected more than others.