UN: “Alarming rise” in minority attacks around COVID-19 fears

National and World

Federal law enforcement is warning of an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans as the coronavirus crisis continues to grow

Credit: UN

GENEVA (WLNS) – As COVID-19 fears increase, a press release from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner is warning of the alarming rise in verbal and physical abuses against Chinese and other minorities with some even being denied access to health care and information about the pandemic.

“COVID-19 is not just a health issue; it can also be a virus that exacerbates xenophobia, hate and exclusion,” said Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues.

Federal law enforcement is warning of an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans as the coronavirus crisis continues to grow, according to a new FBI analysis obtained by ABC News.

In a recent article, GQ Reporter Chris Gayomali talked to Asian-Americans in New York, the U.S. epicenter of the outbreak. Many in the community described experiencing unusually aggressive behavior that has altered how they go about their daily lives.

The spike in anti-Asian sentiment has many choosing between taking measures to protect themselves from a highly contagious virus versus making themselves appear invisible in public.

Tiffany Hsu from Brooklyn said, “I’ve literally been like, How can I make myself look less Asian when I go out?”

“When we do go out I’m the one who carries the baby,” said Joy Yoon, a Korean-American. “It’s weird. But it’s like added protection. I feel like people are less likely to harass me if I have my child with me.”

“Reports of Chinese and other Asians being physically attacked; of hate speech blaming minorities including Roma, Hispanics, and others for the spread of the virus; and of politicians calling for migrants to be denied access to medical services, all show that States need to urgently emphasize that the human rights of everyone, in particular of the most vulnerable and marginalized, must be protected,” said de Varennes.

The UN expert expressed concerns at numerous reports of xenophobia and exclusion of minorities in different parts of the world.

“Millions of individuals, particularly minorities and indigenous peoples, may not have access to what are arguably the most important public health messages in generations,” de Varennes added. “The coronavirus outbreak endangers the health of all of us, with no distinction as to language, religion or ethnicity. But some are more vulnerable than others.”

“Combatting the epidemic requires tackling its darker sides. Firm actions by States and all of us to safeguard the human rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized, including minorities, indigenous communities, and migrants, are urgent and necessary,” the Special Rapporteur concluded.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on WKBN.com