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Coronavirus Pandemic: Wuhan hosts global online forum on rights of vulnerable groups
May 26,2020   By:CGTN
May 26,2020 -- Wuhan University on Saturday hosted a video conference of 50 scholars from around the world to address the priorities of people with special needs during the pandemic. CGTN reporter Hu Chao has more. 
 
"No one is an island", this is the theme of an international video call conference hosted in Wuhan. Experts talked about protecting the rights of vulnerable people during the pandemic, including those with disabilities, the elderly, women, children and foreign immigrants.
 
GERARD QUINN Professor, School of Law, University of Leeds "A basic shared phenomenon between people with disabilities and vulnerable people, especially during crisis, is their invisibility."
 
OSAMU NAGASE  Professor, Institute of Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University "Some people with disabilities, they need more resources, for instance like some medical resources during the pandemic."
 
More than a hundred researchers, practitioners and people in vulnerable situations also watched the video conference via livestreaming platforms. That's why a sign language translation service was also available.
 
The event was held by the Human Rights Studies Institute of Wuhan University. The conference host was Professor Zhang Wanhong, one of several scholars in Wuhan who joined the event from their own homes.
 
ZHANG WANHONG Executive Director Human Rights Studies Institute, Wuhan University "This kind of academic discussion is also a way to fight against the pandemic. We hope this conference, hosted here in Wuhan, can also honor the great efforts and sacrifices made by the people of Wuhan."
 
Professor Zhang says Wuhan's lockdown measure didn't violate international human rights conventions.
 
ZHANG WANHONG  Executive Director Human Rights Studies Institute, Wuhan University "In some specific emergencies, such as a public health crisis or war, when there's a need, certain human rights can be limited. But the limitation should follow some principles to ensure it complies with its purpose. In this sense, we believe Wuhan's lockdown measure was timely and necessary."
 
Ding Peng is a doctoral candidate at the law school of Wuhan University. He is also the head of a social organization for public service in Wuhan. He and his team have been offering a hand to many people with disabilities since the outbreak began.
 
DING PENG Director, Wuhan East-Lake Institute for Social Advancement "During the outbreak, we've found the key problem among people with disabilities lies in their access to information on how to protect themselves, how to seek help, how to distinguish rumors and how to get authoritative information. So, we translated all of this information into sign language, made videos and posted them online to help people in needs."
 
Professor Zhang also pointed out women's predicament amid the outbreak, such as female medical workers' lack of sanitary supplies for menstruation and increasing home violence since the stay-at-home orders were put in place.
 
And they've been helping to draft some guidelines to ensure the rights of people with special needs.