International Journal of Multidisciplinary Academic Research
2021, Vol. 2, Issue 4
The Fight Against Covid-19 in Cameroon: At the Centre of Competing Human Rights
Author(s): Mikano Emmanuel Kiye
Abstract: This paper examines thernfight against the coronavirus in Cameroon, unraveling the tensions it evokesrnbetween the right to health and several other competing human rights. The paperrnadopts a qualitative methodology of doctrinal studies based on content analysisrnof primary and secondary data. Following the outbreak of the virus in Cameroon,rnto fulfil its obligation under article 12(1) of the International Covenant onrnEconomic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, the state of Cameroon implementedrndraconian measures, some of which restricted the enjoyment of some civil andrnpolitical rights. The unprecedented measures, of temporary duration, underminedrnamong others, freedoms of movement, assembly, worship, the right to educationrnand personal autonomy. These freedoms, imperilled by the measures implementedrnto contain coronavirus, are presented as impediments to the realisation of thernright to health, which, implicitly, is elevated above these competing rights.rnThis conclusion is inconsistent with the conceptualisation of human rights asrnindivisible and interdependent, suggesting a relationship of interrelatednessrnin which none of the rights can fully be enjoyed without the enjoyment of thernothers. Rather, within the context of the fight against covid-19, evidencernreveals that human rights are not only complementary but may conflict with onernanother, thereby legitimising the argument for rights prioritisation. The paperrnconcludes that, in the present context, prioritisation of human rights is anrnunfortunate but inevitable occurrence when categories, or individual values, ofrnhuman rights conflict with each other.
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