Experts appeal for global cooperation to foster human rights protection amid COVID-19
May 21,2020   By:Globaltimes.cn

Medical workers pose for photos after seeing cured patients off at the Wuchang temporary hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 10, 2020. Photo: Xinhua
May 21,2020 -- The international community should abandon prejudice and discrimination and strengthen cooperation in order to hedge the harm caused by COVID-19 to human rights protection, experts emphasized at an online conference held on Monday to focus global cooperation in pandemic control and building a community with a shared future for human beings.
Nearly 30 experts and officials from China, Sweden, France and Australia attended the meeting initiated by the China Society for Human Rights Studies and Institute for Human Rights at China University of Political Science and Law.
Petter Wille, a board member of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, recognized China's efforts in prioritizing people's right to health and life.
"Human rights law recognizes that national emergencies that do not threaten the life of a nation may permit restrictions to be placed on the exercise of certain rights," said Wille.
All human rights are equal in nature, but a government can moderately sacrifice some aspects of human rights lawfully in order to protect the right to life and health in an emergency situation such as amid an epidemic, said one of the attendees Lu Zhian, Deputy Director of Human Rights Institute, Fudan University, telling the practice is also in line with the spirit of human rights law.
Professor Florence Beno?t-Rohmer from the University of Strasbourg shared practices of the European Council on COVID-19, saying that the Chinese government did not adopt selfish policies in the outbreak, but made efforts to cooperate with the international community in the fight against the epidemic.
Australian professor Brian Burdekin, who specializes in international human rights law, stressed that international cooperation is in line with the values of international law, and that international institutions such as the WHO should continue to play an important role in global crisis.
In addition, Chinese expert Zhang Wanhong, executive director of Wuhan University Institute for Human Rights Studies, revealed that countries with common cultural backgrounds, such as China and Japan, are more likely to have empathy to each other and carry out effective cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.
China will firmly continue its practice of human rights protection, which is not a replica of a Western model, Zhang stressed, saying that China will blaze a new trail to protect human dignity and values and to promote humanitarianism in China.
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