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Coronavirus pandemic fuelled child abuse, racism: EU rights agency

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A Pakistani lady holds a placard as she marches with different activists of the Progressive Ladies’s Affiliation (PWA) throughout an illustration close to The Parliament Home in Islamabad, Pakistan, on March 9, 2004. Photograph: AFP
  • Pandemic and its reactions have had an opposed impact on susceptible teams, says Vienna-based Basic Rights Agency. 
  • Home violence, sexual abuse elevated in 2020. 
  • Calls to nationwide home violence hotlines rose by 50% in Czech Republic final yr, says rights group. 

In its annual report on Thursday, an EU rights agency mentioned the coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on human rights, as child abuse and incidents involving racism have elevated for the reason that previous yr. 

“The pandemic and the reactions it triggered exacerbated present challenges and inequalities in all areas of life, particularly affecting susceptible teams,” a report by the Vienna-based Basic Rights Agency mentioned.

“It additionally sparked a rise in racist incidents,” the FRA added, calling the pandemic´s results on rights “profound”.

Marginalised teams corresponding to Roma, refugees and migrants weren’t solely at increased threat of contamination, but in addition misplaced jobs owing to strict lockdown measures.

As well as, they have been the targets of “racist and xenophobic incidents, together with verbal insults, harassment, bodily aggression and on-line hate speech”, based on proof collected by the FRA and different teams.

In 2020, home violence and sexual abuse additionally elevated, the report mentioned.

It cited sources within the Czech Republic and Germany as saying that calls to nationwide home violence hotlines rose by 50% within the former and by 20% within the latter between March and June final yr.

Child sexual abuse on-line additionally elevated, FRA mentioned, citing Europol.

The agency urged international locations to sort out the pandemic and its “unprecedented collective problem” to human rights with “balanced measures which might be based mostly on legislation” and which have been “non permanent and proportional”.

The report covers the 27 European Union member states, together with North Macedonia and Serbia.

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