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Christian MESTRE: Vulnerable Groups' Human Rights Should be Cared in COVID-19


Chongqing-Global Epidemic Prevention & Control and Human Rights Protection International Conference Series was held on May 9. There were two themed sessions on the conference, which were Value Status and Legal Protection of the Right to Life and Safeguarding the Right to Life of Vulnerable Groups under the Epidemic.

Christian MESTRE, the Honorary Dean & Professor of the University of Strasbourg in France, gave his speech about Some Reflections on this Strange Category Named “Vulnerable Groups” in the Corona Virus’ Context during the second session. At the conference, he analyzed the concept of vulnerable groups and proposed different situations – are vulnerable groups the actual situation or clearly fitted by the law? Considering actual situations of vulnerable groups and some international laws, professor Christian pointed out some contradictions and issues between vulnerable groups and their right to live in the COVID-19 context. “The birth of the human rights marked the development by the international law of the recognizing of new categories with a special status, special protection,” He said, “As regards the legal approach, the weakness has to be analyzed as a shortening of the capacity to withstand an offense.”

For example, the medical and health workers are at the first line of any outbreak response, therefore, exposing themselves to hazards and increasing the risk of infection with an outbreak pathogen. Under this circumstance, the insufficient quantity of medical supplies was provided to health workers, which resulted in that many people were infected. Professor Christian believes that the first vulnerable group might be the health workers. “They are deprived of the right of life because of the negligence, the errors of the French government. So over one thousand doctors for the moment have complaints against the State to endanger the life of health workers, and we could imagine that their lawyers will try to demonstrate that their fundamental rights are been denied, and especially the right of life.” Said the professor Christian.

At last, professor Christian invited other professors at the conference to organize another special conference in two or three years, exploring this topic in deep.


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