The current health emergency lays bare the extent to which we all rely on each other – family, friends, neighbours and strangers – and that our ongoing well-being depends on kindness and mutual respect. In other words, a commitment to basic human values will help us through this difficult time and will strengthen us all once it is over.
So, please stay hopeful, helpful and human. The government is taking all sorts of action that, in normal times, as a human rights organisation, we would be loudly questioning. But these are not normal times. Drastic action is justified, so long as it can be shown to be necessary and proportionate to the dangers we all face.
We would add one plea to the government and to wider society. We are all affected by this crisis, but we are not all affected equally. In addition to the elderly and those in poor health, there are many on the margins of society – like victims of trafficking, the homeless and immigration detainees – who must be terrified about what their future holds. Let’s ensure that government safety nets and public action catch everyone, and that no-one falls through.
René Cassin’s work during the crisis
For our part, we will be cutting back on planned public activities, and concentrating on developing our work in the virtual space and planning for the post-crisis world.
In practical terms, that means the team will be working from home most of the time. If you need to contact us, please email [email protected] – which is constantly monitored – rather than phoning or calling at the office.
With very best wishes
René Cassin Executive Director
P.S. If you would like to make a donation to help our work, you can do so via this website: www.renecassin.org/donate