Reconstruction Women’s Fund fully supports the initiative by RERI and Yucom relating to support to the initiative “United Against COVID-19” and the right of health workers to freely express their opinions.
We demand from the authorities and directors of health institutions to refrain from any measures and actions that endanger freedom of speech, right to labour and dignity of health workers. The signatories of the initiative “United against COVID-19” acted as human rights defenders and they must not suffer any consequences because of their expressed opinion.
We strongly condemn the approaches by the public service representatives through which they endanger the freedom of thinking, as well as the pressures on doctors to withdraw their signatures.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Health and the Crisis Staff, as well as all the other public institutions engaged in the struggle against the COVID-19 have to consider every initiative and critique, especially those coming from the doctors, so the confined system wouldn’t collapse with incalculable consequences.
The Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations for human rights has also highlighted the role of human right defenders in fighting COVID-19: “Human rights defenders are doing essential work in supporting the efforts in preventing the virus from spreading, protecting vulnerable people and identifying the effects of the pandemic on lives and life essentials for the people. Countries should publicly acknowledge the contributions of the civil society, including the contributions of human rights defenders, media workers, independent government institutions for sharing good practices, shedding a light on flaws in the responses from the institutions and educating the population about public health.”
We invite all the colleagues from the civil society to provide support to the protection of basic human rights of the doctors who have signed the initiative “United Against COVID-19.”
RECONSTRUCTION WOMEN’S FUND
July 27, 2020