The Covid-19 pandemic has shown no favour to any nation, striking apparently equally worldwide. But in fact, the pandemic has been felt more severely where inequality, neglect and abuse were most serious, according to the latest annual report from Amnesty International.
The report looks at the situation in 149 countries. Belgium is not one of them, like the majority of the EU member states apart from Hungary and Poland. The picture is not bright.
“We face a world in disarray. At this point in the pandemic, even the most deluded leaders would struggle to deny that our social, economic and political systems are broken,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s new secretary-general.
Worse still, unscrupulous regimes have profited from the health pandemic to cover more infringements of liberty on people, in particular the poor, refugees or minority populations.
“Health workers, migrant workers, and those in the informal sector – many at the front lines of the pandemic – have also been betrayed by neglected health systems and patchy economic and social support,” the report says.
“The response to the global pandemic has been further undermined by leaders who have ruthlessly exploited the crisis and weaponised COVID-19 to launch fresh attacks on human rights.”
“COVID-19 has brutally exposed and deepened inequality both within and between countries, and highlighted the staggering disregard our leaders have for our shared humanity,” Callamard said in a statement.
“Decades of divisive policies, misguided austerity measures, and choices by leaders not to invest in crumbling public infrastructure, have left too many easy prey to this virus,” she said.