The NGOs that sign this statement recognize that international law allows the use of emergency powers by States to face situations such as the current COVID-19 epidemic. While our desire is that Venezuelan authorities make the best possible decisions to face the spread of the disease, we reiterate that human rights must be, from the beginning, an essential part of all the initiatives of prevention, preparation, containment and treatment of COVID-19. Respect for human dignity is essential at all stages of the crisis.

Therefore, we want to insist on the following points:

1) All authorities and sectors of society must confront the epidemic, placing the health and well-being of the population first, joining efforts to collaborate in the prevention, preparation, containment and treatment of COVID-19.

2) The ability of humanitarian actors and human rights defenders to do their work must be guaranteed. The State has the obligation to request all national and international assistance necessary to meet the needs of people who have may be affected, and the obligation of not restricting or retaliating against the work of humanitarian and human rights actors.

3) The actions of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and the police must respect human rights, avoiding arbitrary actions, and be subordinate to the leadership of the civil authorities, prioritizing decision-making according to technical, scientific and health criteria. Action by armed civilian groups should be banned, and there should be a single spokesperson led by the health-related authorities, to avoid the emission of confusing messaging in order to provide better guidance and greater confidence in the population.

4) The implementation of the quarantine must include the adequately notification of the public about its scope, mobilization protocols for access to food and medical care, while guaranteeing the greatest possible enjoyment of basic services such as access to water and electricity. In addition, the implementation of the quarantine must incorporate policies to guarantee the livelihoods of the entire population, with a special focus on the most vulnerable sectors, such as informal and self-employed workers, older adults and people in poverty, people deprived of liberty, homeless people, and anyone else who does not have accumulated resources to remain in isolation for a long period of time. The benefits of these measures must be distributed through non-discriminatory mechanisms. A quarantine, according to international law, must be of limited duration, be reviewed frequently, and implemented in a safe and respectful manner to reduce risks to the full enjoyment of human rights.

5) Access to information is a key aspect in the guarantee of the population’s right to health. The dissemination of information must be done in a responsible manner, avoiding unnecessary alarm in the population and providing guarantees so that the media can work without additional restrictions to those that avoid their infection. The current restrictions that prevent the access to different national and international media must be removed. Health reports that have not been published since 2006 must be released and transparent information on epidemiological matters must be maintained.

6) Authorities must use all available resources to provide the necessary medical attention in an accessible manner to all sectors of the population, especially those who are vulnerable, low-income and residents of remote areas. They must take all possible measures to protect health workers, including the provision of all the supplies, equipment and conditions necessary to carry out their work under the current circumstances.

7) The measures restricting movement must be adopted in way that does not produce shortages, does not prevent medical centers from providing regular treatment for any health condition and attends to the cases of people who are stuck in bus terminals without resources or possibilities to move.

Signed by:

Acción Solidaria
Civilis Derechos Humanos
Laboratorio de Paz
Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea)
Convite AC
Centro de Acción Y Defensa por los Derechos Humanos (Cadef)
Impulsa Latinoamerica
Clima21 – Ambiente y Derechos Humanos
Red de Activistas Ciudadanos por los Derechos Humanos (REDAC)
ACCSI Acción Ciudadana Contra el SIDA
Movimiento SOMOS
Asociación Venezolana para la Hemofilia
Cátedra de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Centrooccidental Lisandro Alvarado
Ipys Venezuela
Asociación Civil UNIANDES
A.C Los Naguaritos
Cátedra de la Paz / Universidad de los Andes
Liga Merideña contra el Sida
Asociación por la Vida /Merida
Justicia y Paz OP Vnezuela
Asociación Civil NUPAZ
Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social (OVCS)
Crea País
Promoción Educación y Defensa en DDHH – PROMEDEHUM
Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia
Comité de derechos humanos de la guajira
Labo Ciudadano
RedesAyuda & Humano Derecho Radio Estación
Hogar Virgen de los Dolores
Escuela de Comunicación Social Ucab Guayana
Todos por el Futuro
Oportunidad AC
Instituto Progresista
Comisión para los Derechos Humanos del Estado Zulia (Codhez)
Fundación Rehabilitarte
Ciclovías Maracaibo
Caleidoscopio Humano
Una Ventana a la Libertad
Defensa en Acción
Sinergia, Red Venezolana de Organizaciones de Sociedad Civil
Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral FUNDESI
Proyecto Mujeres
EXCUBITUS Derechos Humanos en Educación
Observatorio Global Comunicación Y Democracia
Grupo Social Cesap
A.C. Médicos Unidos de Venezuela
Banco del Libro
SOS Pacientes Renales
ONG Las Mercedes Lara
El Zulia Recicla
Consorven, Confederación Sordos de Venezuela.
Red Universitaria por los DDHH
Acción Campesina
Centro de Justicia y Paz – Cepaz
Universidad Católica Andrés Bello
Red por los Derechos Humanos de NNA (REDHNNA)
Asociación Civil Saber es Poder-AsoSaber
Control Ciudadano para la Seguridad, la Defensa y la Fuerza Armada Nacional
Comisión de DDHH de la Federación Venezolana de Colegios de Abogados del estado Apure ( CDDHHFVCA Apure)
Acceso a la Justicia
Fundación ProBono Venezuela, Provene
Centro para los Defensores y la Justicia (CDJ)
Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Metropolitana (CDH-UNIMET)
Plataforma contra el Arco Minero del Orinoco
Red de Organizaciones de Derechos Humanos del Estado Anzoategui REDHANZ
Defiende Venezuela
Comisión nacional de DdHh de la Federación de colegios de abogados de Venezuela del estado Táchira
Fundación Aguaclara
Monitor Social AC
Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad de Los Andes
Epikeia Observatorio Universitario de Derechos Humanos
Fundación para la cooperación internacional , la integración y el Desarrollo para el esfuerzo regional CIIDER
Aula Abierta
Comisión Nacional de DDHH de la Federación de Colegios de Abogados de Venezuela del Estado Lara
Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas de la Universidad del Zulia
Movimiento Ciudadano Dale Letra
Fundación “Yo te ayudo venezolano”
Creemos Alianza Ciudadana Libertador
Fundación Prodefensa del Derecho a la Educación y la Niñez
Derechos Humanos Venezuela Carúpano
Fundación para el Debido Proceso Fundepro
Sindicato Nacional Asociación de Profesionales Universitarios en Funciones Administrativas y Técnicas de la UCV
Aqui Cabemos Todos
Padres Organizados de Venezuela
Unión Vecinal para la Participación Ciudadana A.C,
Instituto Mead de Venezuela A.C,
Conciencia Ciudadana A.C,
Proyecta Ciudadanía A.C,
Comunidad en Movimiento A.C
Ciudadanía con Compromiso A.C

You can download and disseminate the statement at the following link

Human Rights during COVID-19 in Venezuela



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