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Object to EU jab-cert plan, Coveney urged
Pic: RollingNews.ie

19 Mar 2021 / human rights Print

Object to EU jab-cert plan, Coveney urged

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has called on Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney to consider people’s rights before supporting a plan to bring in vaccine certificates for travel across the EU.

The European Commission announced plans earlier this week for a travel certificate to enable freedom of movement for those vaccinated against COVID-19, in a bid to revive the tourism and leisure industries.

In a letter, ICCL outlines its concerns that vaccination passports could impact many rights, including equality and non-discrimination, freedom of movement, privacy, and bodily integrity.

'Back door'

The group is calling on the Government to “strenuously object” to the plan at EU level.

It also wants a commitment from the Government that it will not introduce such a system to access goods or services within Ireland.

ICCL executive director Liam Herrick said that although Ireland had not introduced mandatory vaccinations, vaccine passports would effectively be “mandatory vaccination by the back door”.

Indirect discrimination

“If people cannot receive the vaccine because of disability or medical conditions, a vaccine passport will exclude them from society, restrict their freedom of movement, and constitute indirect discrimination,” he said.

Mr Herrick added that a pass based in a digital app would discriminate against people living in ‘digital poverty’ or those unable to use digital devices.

The ICCL is also concerned that the infrastructure needed to manage any pass system could go on to form the basis of wider migration controls based on health status.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland