The spread of COVID-19 has demanded that governments around the world take unprecedented steps to protect their citizens. This has meant restricting personal movement in an effort to limit the transmission of the disease.
We are concerned about the risk of discrimination, excessive use of force and violations of fundamental rights and freedoms that have already occurred in some instances during the implementation of lock downs and mandatory isolation. While the need to protect public health is vital, it is imperative to ensure that these measures are not used to undermine the fundamental civil liberties and human rights of all people.
We hope that restrictions on movement and peaceful assembly are grounded in legitimate public health concerns and are not used to infringe on the people’s essential freedoms. While we are all called upon to sacrifice some parts of our normal lives, we must remain vigilant that this requirement is not abused or taken advantage of.
We must all do what we can to prevent the tragedy of this pandemic from being compounded by allowing it to be exploited to persecute vulnerable communities. Over the course of this crisis, we want to ensure that vulnerable and marginalized communities are not victimized under the cover of public health.
Furthermore, we recognize that isolating at home can be very difficult for many families. For people facing domestic violence, COVID-19 has created a perfect storm of isolation, stress and fear. Gender-based and child-protection services are essential and life-saving, and we urge the government of Saint Lucia to prioritize and integrate these critical services in all responses related to COVID-19.
International and national crises often highlight inequalities in the labor market that disproportionately affect women from marginalized backgrounds. The COVID-19 pandemic has induced social distancing measures and the closure of businesses that has exposed stark realities of many women, who were already living paycheck to paycheck. The impact of COVID-19 has devastated the livelihood of women who worked in the hospitality sector and now cannot afford everyday necessities. Your donation will help provide basic food items for our women and children victims who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.