Commission cautions that any moves to introduce COVID-19 status certificates must take full account of human rights
The Scottish Human Rights Commission has set out the human rights concerns and obligations that must be considered by the Scottish Government in any moves to introduce COVID-19 status certificates.
In a new briefing published today, the Commission also makes nine recommendations to the Scottish Government for how to proceed in a rights-compliant way.
The Commission’s recommendations to the Scottish Government include:
- The Scottish Government should adopt a human rights based approach to reaching decisions about a potential COVID-19 status certification scheme.
- The Scottish Government should only use, support or permit any use of COVID-19 status certification once there is clear scientific evidence (i) that vaccinations are effective in reducing transmission of the virus, and (ii) of the duration of protection afforded by the vaccines.
- The Scottish Government should only use, support or permit any use of COVID-19 status certification once there is clear advice regarding the overall effectiveness of the proposed COVID-19 status certification scheme in protecting life and managing the pandemic, and it is assessed as both necessary and proportionate to do so.
- The Scottish Government should only use, support or permit any use of COVID-19 status certification if alternatives to vaccine certification are included that are viable alternatives for those who have not been vaccinated.
- The Scottish Government should only use, support or permit any use of COVID-19 status certification if the system is practicable for all.
- If the Scottish Government decides to use, support or permit COVID-19 status certification in certain settings, any such scheme must be temporary, and there must be regular, open and transparent review of the ongoing necessity and proportionality of the scheme, generally and in each setting in which it is used.
Read the full recommendations (PDF).
Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission, said:
“The possibility of using a COVID-19 certification scheme to access areas of society within Scotland raises a number of human rights concerns. It is vital that the Scottish Government takes its human rights obligations fully into account in considering this matter, proceeding only with the utmost caution.”
Media enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07876 817978