Foreign Ministry’s statement on the elimination of all forms of discrimination
/ Updated: 2020.05.15 15:35
The coronavirus COVID-19 has revealed vulnerabilities of our societies in Lithuania and in many other countries. It has also highlighted the challenges that had existed before, but became more acute during the pandemic. Vulnerable, discriminated and often marginalized individuals appear to be most at risk from the novel coronavirus.
A lot needs to be done to ensure gender equality, as well as the rights of the elderly, persons with disabilities, women and children. As we saw, many problems arise out of multiple discrimination.
Today, we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Let's take a moment to remember that "all human beings are born free and equal". This was the first principle set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The principle of the dignity of the human person is at the very heart of human rights.
This fundamental principle must also guide us as we fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, more than ever, we need to act on our commitment to prevent the spread of hate speech. We shall struggle not only against the virus, but also against hate crime and all forms of discrimination.
Human rights apply to everyone; so neither the virus, nor any circumstance would make us want to turn away from people, pushing them to the margins of society.
Therefore, we wish to invite you to maintain physical distance, not social isolation.