CHR: COVID-19 info should be in multiple languages

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has recommended that all information about coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) be made accessible to every Filipino by providing it in multiple languages - even for those with low or no literacy.

Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN) Commission on Human Rights (MANILA BULLETIN)

Whenever there are COVID-19 related news or announcements on the television, the CHR suggested that a sign language interpreter be there as well to serve as a voice for the deaf. This is what Taiwan has done.

The Commission likewise recommended that websites be established especially for those with vision, hearing, learning, and other disabilities.

Meanwhile, the CHR stressed that communications should utilize plain language in order to maximize understanding. Age-appropriate information should also be provided to children for them to understand the virus and better protect themselves.

But while information concerning the virus is crucial at this time, the CHR reminded everyone that health data is particularly sensitive. The publication of health information might negatively affect people who are already in positions of vulnerability or marginalization in society.

The CHR said that the government should fully respect the rights to freedom of expression and access to information, and only restrict them as far as international standards permit.