Definition: rights (such as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons.
The term human rights reportedly initially appeared in the year 539 BC during the time when Babylon was captured by Cyrus the Great. Reportedly he made the lives of Babylonians better, returned people that were from other countries back to their country of origin, and also restored religious institutions. It is widely believed that it was these actions that helped to form human rights fundamentals as it passed onto other rulers after Cyrus the Great, who placed these laws in a cylinder which became known as the Cyrus Cylinder.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and originally published on December 10, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is an international agreement that introduces principles for the rights of all human beings. The contents therein are civil as well as political rights, the right to live, liberty, freedom of speech, privacy. It also covers economic, social and cultural rights which include social security and health and education.
This document is the foundation for the protection of human rights. Universally, human rights are legal guarantees which protect individuals as well as groups from actions and/or taken away or waived which could be detrimental to the human dignity of that individual or group. There should be no discrimination based upon race, skin color, sexuality, language, political party, national and/or social origin, property, or birth. These rights are to be guaranteed to all peoples. However, due to the rise of COVID-19, various groups are losing their human rights.
For example, take religious minority group Shincheonji in South Korea. They are losing their freedom to practice their faith, after the public and even the government scapegoat them as the source of coronavirus in Korea, even taking advantage of the widespread hysteria created by false news (e.g. Korean Jesus) surrounding the church. See below for further information on COVID-19 and rights violations.
The COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus pandemic) (disease)
Cause: A severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) (virus)
How has COVID-19 impacted human rights?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) states have a legal obligation to provide timely access to acceptable and affordable health care which includes sanitary water, sanitation, proper food, proper housing, education regarding the health-related issue, and equal gender treatment.
1. Freedom of Speech: Some countries, most notably China have been suppressing the actual data regarding COVID-19 which helped to spread the disease worldwide. Anything negative against the Chinese government is grounds for jail. Taiwan, had a great response towards the disease and offered to help China but China refused and also doesn’t recognize Taiwan as a country. Doctors within China tried to warn the world online and one by one they disappeared and died mysteriously. The Chinese government reported that those doctors died because of the virus was not caused by the Chinese but by the United States. Social media platforms also censored anything pertaining to COVID-19.
2. Right to health: In some countries the hospitals are being heavily impacted and patients are either turned away or there are decisions being made as to whether or not to treat them if they are elderly as they will most likely die anyway.
3. Racism: Racism and discrimination increased drastically against Asian people, most notably those thought to be Chinese as the disease originated in China. Other nationalities justified their discrimination against the Chinese by pointing out how they lost a family member or friend and/or now are inconvenienced and they have to wear masks and social distance as well as establishments being closed.