哈里·普亚尔:尼泊尔疫情控制的人权原则应用 - 第三单元:人权文化多样性与团结合作抗击疫情 - 中国人权网

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哈里·普亚尔:尼泊尔疫情控制的人权原则应用

2020-06-02 17:12:28来源:中国人权网

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尼泊尔最高法院哈里·普亚尔法官(网络会议视频截图)

  2020年5月30日下午,由中国人权研究会指导、华中科技大学人权法律研究院主办的“疫情防控中的中西方人权观比较”国际视频研讨会召开。会议采取现场和网络相结合的形式,来自联合国人权高专办、联合国人权高专办驻几内亚办事处、奥地利、荷兰、英国、巴基斯坦、尼泊尔和中国等国家和地区的40余名人权专家、官员参加了线上研讨。尼泊尔最高法院哈里·普亚尔法官在”第三单元:人权文化多样性与团结合作抗击疫情“上作题为《尼泊尔疫情控制的人权原则应用》的发言。

人权原则在应对大流行病/流行病方面的应用:以尼泊尔为例

尼泊尔最高法院法官Hari Phuyal


  背景:

  新冠肺炎(COVID-19) 全球性大流行病已感染全球数百万人,许多人因此丧生。此外,疫情导致全球经济放缓。

  2020年1月21日,加德满都地区确诊了尼泊尔首例新冠肺炎病例。为应对疫情的大面积爆发,尼泊尔政府宣布在全国范围内实行封锁,包括封锁所有登机口并终止国际航班。

  新冠肺炎疫情对世界各国均造成了严重的影响,尼泊尔也不例外。疫情对尼泊尔的所有领域和部门均造成一定的影响,最重要的一点是,其对人民的基本人权产生了特定影响。更具体地说,疫情已造成空前的经济和社会影响,且对人权(尤其是ESC权利)造成了惊人且持久的影响。

  即使是在疫情爆发期间,所有管辖范围仍高度重视核心生命权和非歧视权,尼泊尔当然也不例外。

  世界卫生组织(WHO)关于在应对新冠肺炎疫情的过程中处理人权问题的指南:

  世界卫生组织呼吁各国尊重并承认人民健康权和人权,并要求各国将人权标准作为疫情应对的核心。

  鉴于当前疫情爆发后逐渐涌现出侵犯和歧视的问题,世界卫生组织特别要求各国避免出现侵犯问题,其中包括:

  a. 设法解决并制止对病毒感染者日益增长的侮辱和歧视,并增加对仇外心理和种族主义等案件的关注。(在尼泊尔,许多外来工因携带和传播新冠病毒而蒙受耻辱,人们对此类群体的歧视与日俱增)。

  b. 保护较弱势的社会阶层,并给与其特别关心和保护(身体状况不佳的人群以及受疫情带来的社会和经济影响更大的人群)。

  c. 根据相关法律采取检疫和限制措施;以合法性为目的;以公平性为目的;而非专制性或歧视性。

  d. 用于前线卫生工作者防护的用品和设备是至关重要的,医用口罩、呼吸器、手套、隔离服和眼部防护用品等个人防护用品(PPE)必须优先提供给卫生工作者和负责照顾新冠肺炎患者的其他人员。鉴于当前全球性个人防护用品短缺的问题,世界卫生组织建议采取相关策略以促进个人防护用品的最佳供应和适当使用。

  e. 提供国际援助与合作,尤其是针对中低收入国家,以应对疫情的影响及引发的灾难。

  联合国人权事务高级专员办事处(OHCHR):

  为在应对新冠肺炎疫情过程中将人权置于核心,联合国人权事务高级专员办事处制定了新冠肺炎预防指南。

  该指南主要支持以下观点:

  • 在提供医疗服务的过程中坚持不歧视的原则,

  • 政府采取的紧急措施应合法,且应保障不可克减的权利(不遣返原则、禁止集体驱逐、禁止酷刑和虐待、思想、信仰和宗教自由权等),

  • 在疫情防控过程中避免遗漏任何人,尤其应关注更容易被忽视或排斥的人群,例如少数民族或少数教派成员、土著人民、移民、流离失所者和难民、老年人、残疾人、性少数群体或极端贫困者,

  • 为无住房设施的人提供足够的/紧急住房设施,尤其应遵守政府的居家防疫命令,

  • 专门针对较为脆弱的残疾人和老年人采取相关措施,

  • 要求各州紧急探讨释放和拘留替代方法(包括释放所有被拘禁的儿童),以降低拘留场所内的伤害风险,

  • 获取各语种信息,并确保人民参与决策过程,

  • 对抗侮辱、仇外心理和种族主义,

  • 采取明确行动,从而将移民、国内流离失所者和难民纳入全国新冠肺炎疫情防控工作,

  • 采取相关措施以确保农业工人流动性并提供安全的工作条件,从而保障粮食生产并解决粮食不安全问题。同样,还应采取相关供水措施和卫生措施,

  • 针对疫情带来的社会和经济影响采取了一系列措施,例如在线学习、专业电视及无线电广播节目、社会保护方案、提供优质个人防护设备以确保职业健康和安全、立即提供经济救济方案(失业救济金、病假、实物分配等)。政府对不同性别的人群以及少数群体采取相关应对措施。

  尼泊尔国内对当前疫情的应对:

  从人权的角度来看,《尼泊尔宪法》(2015年)第35条将健康权视为基本权利,并确保人民免费获得国家基本卫生服务的权利,以及平等获得紧急卫生服务的权利。尼泊尔根据这一基本权利颁布了2018年《公共卫生法》,其中规定国家应免费提供基本卫生服务及紧急卫生服务,此外还应确保人民可方便、平等地获得卫生服务和设施。然而,该法案中的许多规定目前尚未实施。

  《尼泊尔宪法》还承认,有尊严地生活的权利、平等权、通讯权、知情权、隐私权、教育权、劳动权、健康权、食物权、住房权、妇女的权利、儿童的权利、老年公民的权利、社会正义权和社会保障权属于基本权利,但是当前爆发的疫情已对此类权利造成严重破坏。为有效行使此类基本权利,尼泊尔政府最近(2018年)基于此类基本权利批准了相关立法,例如《食物权法》、《公共卫生法》、《基于贡献的社会保障法》和《就业权法》。后期将充分执行此类规定。

  同样,为了在自然灾害以及非自然灾害中保护人们的生命安全,并相互合作以一种有效的方式开展所有灾难管理活动,在灾害应对措施方面援引了2017年《降低和管理灾害风险法》。

  为应对当前疫情,尼泊尔政府(卫生和人口部)已(于2020年5月)制定了卫生部门应急计划,其目标在于制定并加强卫生系统应对措施,从而将新冠肺炎疫情的不利影响降至最低。根据该计划,所有中央医院、省级医院、医学院、学术机构及中心医院均需为新冠肺炎患者提供治疗。到目前为止,全国已有超过2000个医院床位用于隔离疑似患者和已确诊患者。据报道,该阶段面临的主要挑战是检疫管理、人力资源、用于检测的实验室有限以及防疫医疗用品(包括个人防护设备及其他用品)库存有限。

  尼泊尔政府已组建了一个委员会用于协调防疫准备和应对工作,其中包括卫生部、内政部、外交部、财务部、文化、旅游和民航部、城市发展部、尼泊尔军队、尼泊尔警察和武警部队。

  同样,为监测新冠肺炎疫情爆发期间的人权问题,已经建立了一个高级非政府网络(国家人权委员会、尼泊尔律师协会、尼泊尔记者联合会和尼泊尔非政府组织联合会)。

  疫情对人权造成的影响以及司法机构在疫情期间的作用:以尼泊尔为例

  在当前这一充满挑战的时机,为有效开展各项政府活动,尼泊尔最高法院就根据公益诉讼提起的请愿书向政府发布了多项临时指令。当前这一危机是建立系统弹性的一个很好的时机。例如,尽管该项政策无法用于应对当前的危机,但是在确保将人权作为新冠肺炎疫情紧急应对的核心的过程中,尼泊尔最高法院发挥了积极主动的作用:

  外来工的权利:尼泊尔最高法院首次认可“回返”和遣返为尼泊尔外来工的一项基本人权。将外来工的回返权视为一项基本人权这一规定尚未在法律和政策框架内得以落实,尼泊尔最高法院行使了人权条约(例如公民权利和政治权利国际公约,ICCPR)中规定的国际义务,尊重并承认外来工的这一权利。同样,这一举措也获得了滞留印度边境数月的外来工的良好评价。

  健康权:尼泊尔最高法院就向其提起的一项公益诉讼召集了相关卫生部官员,要求其提交政府关于应对新冠肺炎疫情并在尼泊尔七个省筹备检测实验室方面的计划。同样,尼泊尔最高法院发布了临时指令,以尽可能增加聚合酶链反应(PCR)测试,从而应对疫情并保障尼泊尔公民的生命权。

  儿童的权利/青少年司法:尼泊尔最高法院承认被定罪并拘禁在少年拘留所的儿童有权要求改判家庭拘禁,并进一步提醒司法部门,“每一个人均有责任即刻帮助那些生命安全受到威胁的儿童。”

  食物权:尼泊尔最高法院发布了临时指令,承认以每日工资为生的人受当前封锁的影响可能更大,且此类人群丧失食物权的风险也更高。 由于宪法中规定的弱势工人(低收入工人和以每日工资为生的工人)遭受政府持续实施的封锁措施的沉重打击。为确保此类工人的食物权,尼泊尔最高法院发布了一项临时指令,其标志着尊重尼泊尔公民ESC权利的又一里程碑,尤其是在当前这一前所未有的情况下。最高法院进一步表示,居住权和身份证件与是否收到救济无关。

  下一步行动:

  a. 在即将出台的国家计划和预算方案中,将优先在尼泊尔建立一个更完善的卫生和粮食安全体系。尼泊尔总统宣布的近期政府计划中概括了在下一财政年度恢复尼泊尔卫生、教育、就业和经济的蓝图。相关政府计划和方案的重点是提升社会经济部门和平台。

  b. 通过对法律进行必要修改以制定法律和人权方法,为其提供资金以激活相关的机构和人力资源,从而应对未来的疫情(新政府政策:中心疾病控制,包括实验室和科学研究以及定期监测、设备和要求等紧急卫生投资)。

  c. 为了在疫情期间为卫生服务提供协助,应制定紧急安全计划。

  d. 为应对未来出现的此类紧急情况,紧急预算和专业的人力资源应到位。

  e. 作为当前一项疫情应对措施,应承认《尼泊尔宪法》中规定的义务并确保基本权利,尤其是经济、社会和文化权利以及获取卫生服务的权利、食物权、知情权等。

  f. 应制定保护和救济最弱势群体的方案,此类群体包括老年人、残疾人、移民、以每日工资为生的工人、处于拘留期的人、难民和缺乏足够住房设施的人。

  g. 此外,根据世界卫生组织等国际组织的建议,包括国际特赦组织和人权组织在内的联合国人权事务高级专员办事处(UN OHCHR)在(流行病或大流行病)危机中充分尊重并保护人权。

Application of Human Rights Principles in Dealing with Pandemic/Epidemic: Context of Nepal

Hari Phuyal, Judge, Supreme Court of Nepal

Background:

The global COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic has spread to millions of human being and cost many lives including slowing down of economic activities to the entire world.

The first case of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal was confirmed on 24 January 2020 in Kathmandu District. The government of Nepal with an aim to contend the widespread outbreak of contagion announced a nationwide lockdown sealed the boarders and suspended the international flights.

The COVID 19 pandemic has severely impacted the overall sectors of the world, and Nepal is no exception. The pandemic has left no fields or sectors untouched in Nepal too, and top of all, it had a knock on effect on the overall basic human rights of people. More particularly, the economic and social impacts of pandemic are at unprecedented scale and its impact on human rights (and ESC rights in particular) is staggering and long lasting.

Even during the pandemic the core right to life and non-discrimination prevails in any jurisdiction and of course Nepal is no exception to such obligation.

WHO’s guideline on Addressing Human Rights amidst COVID-19 response:

The WHO has addressed all countries to respect and recognize the health and human rights of people and asked the countries to keep the human rights standards in the center of pandemic responses. 

Considering, the range of violation and discrimination being surfaced after the outset of current pandemic, the WHO has particularly addresses the countries to refrain from violations including:

a. Address and stopping the growing stigma and discrimination against those who have contracted the virus, and rising cases and concerns like xenophobia and racism. (In case of Nepal growing discrimination against the Migrant Workers who have been stigmatized for bringing and spreading the virus in the country).

b. Protecting the more vulnerable sectors of the society and providing them with special care and protection (those who are physically vulnerable as well as those who’s more vulnerable to the social and economic impacts of pandemic).

c. Quarantine and restrictive measures to be in accordance with the law; pursue a legitimate aim; proportionate; and not arbitrary or discriminatory.

d. Supplies and equipments to protect the frontline health workers is paramount and PPE, including medical masks, respirators, gloves, gowns, and eye protection, must be prioritized for health care workers and others caring for COVID-19 patients. In view of the global PPE shortage, WHO recommends strategies that can facilitate optimal availability and appropriate use of PPE.

e. International assistance and cooperation to be provided especially targeting the low and middle-income countries to fight against the effects and disasters of pandemic.

UN Human Rights Office of High Commissioner (OHCHR):

The OHCHR has established COVID-19 GUIDANCE with an aim to keep human rights at the heart of response by the state.

The guidance basically endorses for:

• Non-discrimination in providing access to health care,

• The emergency measure of the government should be legitimate and the non-derogable rights like principle of non-refoulement, the prohibition of collective expulsion, the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and other,

• Leaving no one behind during response and protection and special attention to ethnic or religious minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants, displaced persons, and refugees, older persons, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities or people affected by extreme poverty who are more like to be missed or excluded,

• Adopting adequate/emergency-housing facilities to those having inadequate housing facilities especially considering government’s stay at home mandates,

• Special and targeted measure to address person with disabilities and elderly (older persons) considering the higher vulnerability,

• Sates are asked urgently explore options for release and alternatives to detention to mitigate the risk of harm within places of detention including releasing all children from detention,

• Access to information in all languages and people’s participation in decision making,

• Responses against stigmatization, xenophobia and racism,

• Take specific actions to include migrants, IDPs and refugees in national COVID-19 prevention and response,

• Measures to ensure the mobility and safe working conditions of agriculture workers to secure food production and address the food insecurity. Similarly, water and sanitation measures,

• As a response to social and economic impacts, for instance online learning, and specialised TV and radio broadcasts, social protection schemes, provision of quality personal protective equipment for occupational health and safety, provision of immediate economic relief packages like unemployment benefits, sick leave, food distribution etc.  The response from the government to be gender sensitive and target the minorities as well.

Domestic Responses to current Pandemic in Nepal:

From human rights perspective, the Article 35 of the Constitution of Nepal (2015) guarantees right relating to health as the fundamental rights and ensures right to free basic health services from the State, and equal access to emergency health services. In line with this fundamental right, Nepal has enacted the Public Health Act, 2018 with the provision of free basic health services as well as the emergency health services, and ensuring easy and equal access to health-related services and facilities. However, many provisions this Act is yet to come in implementation.

The Constitution of Nepal also recognizes right to live with dignity, right to equality, right to communication, right to information right to privacy, right relating to education, right to labor, right to health, right relating to food, right to housing, right of women, right of child, right of senior citizen, right to social justice, right to social security, as fundamental rights which has been a subject of severe damage due to the current pandemic. With an aim to effectively implement these fundamental rights, the government of Nepal has recently (2018) endorsed specific legislation based on the fundamental rights, for instance Right to Food Act, Public Health Act, Contribution based Social Security Act, Right to Employment Act etc. These provisions are to be fully implemented. 

Similarly, in relation to the disaster related responses, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, 2017 has been invoked with the aim to protect the life of the people form natural and non-natural catastrophes and handling all the activities of disaster management in a cooperative and effective manner.

As a domestic response to current pandemic, the government of Nepal (Ministry of Health and Population) has come up with Health Sector Emergency Plan (on May 2020), with the goal to prepare and strengthen the health system response that is capable to minimise the adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic. As per the Plan, all the central hospitals, provincial hospitals, medical colleges, academic institutions and hub-hospitals have been designated to provide treatment care for COVID-19 cases. So far, more than 2000 hospital beds across the country are allocated for isolation of suspected and confirmed cases. While it has also been reported that at this stage of operation, the major challenge has been managing quarantine, human resources, limited laboratories for testing and limited stock of medical supplies for the response, which includes personal protective equipments, and other supplies.

The Government of Nepal has also formed a committee to coordinate the preparedness and response efforts, including the Ministry of Health Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Urban Development, Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force.

Similarly, at the non-governmental level, a high-level network of the National Human Rights Commission, Nepal Bar Association, Federation of Nepalese Journalists and NGO Federation of Nepal has been initiated to monitor the human rights situation with reference to COVID 19.

Human Rights Impacts of Pandemic and role of Judiciary: Examples from Nepal

In this challenging time, the Supreme Court of Nepal, in response to the petition filed under Public Interest Litigation, has issued many interim orders to the government to facilitate its activities. The current crisis could be a very good opportunity in building the resilience in the system. For instance, although the policy fell short in responding to current crisis, the Supreme Court has played a dynamic and proactive role in addressing human rights as a key to COVID 19 emergency response:

Right of Migrant workers: the Supreme Court has for the very first time recognized the “return” and repatriation as a basic human rights of Nepali migrant workers. When, the legal and policy frameworks remained silent in relation to the right to return as a fundamental human rights of migrant workers, the Court exhausted on its international obligation under human rights treaties like ICCPR and respected and recognized this right. Similarly, the positive verdict towards India bound migrant workers stranded in border for months has been influential.  

Right to Health: In response to a Public Interest Litigation filed before the Supreme Court, the court summoned the officials from the health ministry to present before it the government’s plan to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and to prepare for the testing labs in all seven provinces of Nepal. Similarly, the Court has issued interim order to increase and maximize the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests to contend the contagion and safeguard the right to life of Nepali Citizens.

Right of Children/Juvenile Justice: The Supreme Court by recognizing that the children who have been convicted and sentenced to a juvenile detention center have the right to request resentencing to home confinement, and the Supreme Court further reminded the justice sector that “it shall be the responsibility of everyone to instantly help children whose lives are at risk.”

Right to Food: The Supreme Court issued interim order, recognizing that people living on daily wages could be more affected by the current lockdown and that they are on the higher risk of being deprived of their right to food. The Supreme Court issued an interim order to ensure the constitutional right of food to the vulnerable workers (low income and daily wage workers)  who are worst hit by the ongoing lockdown enforced by the government has marked another milestone towards respecting the ESC rights of the Nepali citizens especially in unprecedented situation like this. the Court further hailed requirement of residency and identity document is irreelent to receive relief.

Way Ahead:

a. The priority of the upcoming national plans and budget should be on establishing better health and food security system in Nepal. The recent plan of the government announced by the President of Nepal has outlined the blueprint to revive Nepal’s health, education, employment and economy in the coming fiscal year. The plan and program of the government laid emphasis on the upliftment of socio-economic sectors and platforms.  

b. Develop a law and human rights based approach by bringing required changes in the laws and finance them to activate related institution and human resources to handle epidemic situation for future (New Government Policy: Centre Disease  Control including labs and scientific research and regular surveillance, emergency health related investment  such as equipment and medicines).

c. Emergency security plan should be in place to assist the health services during epidemic and pandemic situation

d. An emergency budget followed with a cohort of professional human resources to deal with such emergency situation in future.

e. As a current response, recognizing the obligations under the Constitution and ensure basic rights with special emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights in particular access to health services, right to food, right to information, etc.

f. Protection and relief schemes for the most vulnerable, including the elderly, people with disabilities, migrants, daily-wage workers, people in detention, refugees, and those without adequate housing facilities.

g. And, following the recommendation by international organizations like WHO, UN OHCHR including Amnesty International and Human rights in respecting and protecting the human rights in situation of crisis (epidemic or pandemic).


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