Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


UN says rights must be respected in Ebola fight

26 September 2014, 21:35

Geneva - The UN's top watchdog on Friday said that countries must not trample over human rights during the battle against Ebola.

The 47-nation Human Rights Council, whose members include Ebola-afflicted Sierra Leone said the loss of life in the epidemic was "horrifying" and lauded the "tireless efforts" of a host of players to try to defeat it.

Ebola has infected nearly 6,300 people in West Africa and killed nearly half of them, according to the World Health Organization.

Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea account for the overwhelming majority of cases, and have scrambled to try to contain its spread, often by imposing area-wide lock-downs and quarantining people.

In a unanimous decision, the council said that it was calling upon countries to "respect, protect and promote all human rights on the basis of equality while combating the epidemic on the ground".

Also read: WHO sees small-scale use of experimental Ebola vaccines in January

States, it said, must be "mindful of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens of affected countries, when implementing measures to limit the spread of the virus".

It warned that the "negative effects of inappropriate actions that could result in the stigmatisation of the victims", as well as their families and wider communities.

"Inappropriate actions that lead to stigmatisation only serve to deepen the negative effects of the Ebola crisis on the enjoyment of human rights."

While medical experts say radical measures taken by authorities are needed, concerns have been raised that they could worsen the epidemic by heightening mistrust of the authorities and driving at-risk populations underground.

Sierra Leone began a quarantine of more than one million people Thursday in the largest open-ended lockdown in the Ebola outbreak.

Last week, it imposed a three-day curfew on the entire country.

Liberia last month imposed a state of emergency, with a night-time curfew.

Groups such as Human Rights Watch have urged the affected countries to ensure respect for human rights and transparency in their struggle to halt the epidemic.

Liberia, for example, has faced accusations of carrying out an assault on press freedom, using the epidemic as an alibi for a clampdown.




Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...