By Auther Chimbgwa
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has cited Covid-19 as a major drawback towards efforts aimed at attaining the full enjoyment of human rights in the country.
In a statement to mark International Human Rights Day, ZHRC said the pandemic has brought with it, pervasive inequalities that have mostly affected the vulnerable.
“Unfortunately, International Human Rights Day is being commemorated once more amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As a result of the devastating socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, pervasive inequalities have emerged disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups in our society,” said the rights watchdog.
The Elasto Mugwadi (pictured) chaired Commission said the global scourge has negatively impacted on the right to life, healthcare, education, adequate standard of living and a number of freedoms and liberties.
“The social impacts of the pandemic manifest in an increase in social evils such as sexual and gender-based violence, teenage pregnancies, child marriages and delinquency among the youths.
“Evidently, the pandemic is still very much with us following the advent of the recent Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The Commission urges communities to take heed of the Government’s call for people to get vaccinated,” said the Commission.
It also urged health Institutions offering vaccination services to ensure enhanced accessibility to the centres by the most disadvantaged through scaling up of mobile vaccination centres.
“The Commission also urges the Government to avail more resources towards public assistance to cater for the vulnerabilities brought about or worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Commission said.
This year’s international human rights commemorations ran under the theme ” Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights”.
Covid-19 cases have of late been on an upward trajectory in the country, with the highest daily tally hitting a record 6 000 cases plus Saturday, according to by the health ministry.