Coronavirus crisis led to 'tsunami of hate' - UN
António Guterres, United Nations chief said the coronavirus pandemic unleashed a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering”, and appealed for an all-out effort “to end hate speech globally.”
The UN secretary-general said anti-foreigner sentiment has surged online and on the streets. As speculation over where the virus originated, Guterres said migrants and refugees have been vilified as a source of the virus and then denied access to medical treatment.
“With older persons among the most vulnerable, contemptible memes have emerged suggesting they are also the most expendable, “he said. “And journalists, whistleblowers, health professionals, aid workers and human rights defenders are being targeted simply for doing their jobs.”
Guterres called on governments to show solidarity with all people and also on media to remove racist, misogynist and other harmful content.
“And I ask everyone, everywhere, to stand up against hate, treat each other with dignity and take every opportunity to spread kindness,” Guterres said.
The secretary-general stressed that Covid-19 “does not care who we are, where we live, what we believe or about any other distinction”.