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And while welcoming steps to address the deadly crisis, she noted the importance of ensuring that measures responding to COVID-19 are “neither applied in a discriminatory manner nor exacerbate existing inequalities and vulnerabilities.”
Lacking jobs and money, and with public transportation shut down, hundreds of thousands of migrants who have no job security or protection, were forced to trek often hundreds of miles back to their home villages – with some dying on the journey, noted OHCHR.
In an effort to control the virus, on Sunday, the Home Affairs Ministry ordered States to intercept and quarantine the migrants for two weeks.
However, earlier this week, reports and images emerged of police officers apparently beating people – including migrants – with batons, for breaking quarantine rules and allegedly spraying some on the road, with disinfectant.
“We understand the strains on police services at this time, but officers must show restraint and abide by international standards on the use of force and humane treatment in their efforts to respond to this pandemic”, underscored the UN rights chief.
A number of States have now explicitly ordered police to stop using force to contain the virus.