COVID-19 School Closures and The Principles of Proportionality and Balancing*Corresponding Author: Willem Van Aardt, Extraordinary Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, Research Unit Law, Justice and Sustainability, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Hoffman Street, Potchefstroom, South Africa, Email: [email protected]
Received Date: May 15, 2021 / Accepted Date: May 29, 2021 / Published Date: Jun 16, 2021
Citation: van Aardt W (2021) COVID-19 School Closures and The Principles of Proportionality and Balancing. J Infect Dis Ther S3: 002.
Copyright: © 2021 van Aardt W. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Even though COVID-19 has an extremely low crude mortality rate among children, drastic measures to combat the disease significantly infringed the fundamental human rights of millions of children to education and protection. This article examines whether COVID-19-related school closures and the suspension of necessary measures of protection for special needs and vulnerable children were justifiable derogations from covenant obligations and international human rights law. The researcher assessed relevant treaty and covenant obligations of states parties and affirms what international human rights law determines regarding the justifiable limitation of human rights. The article centers on whether the regulations to combat the COVID-19 pandemic are, inter alia, legitimate, adequate, necessary and proportionate stricto sensu. It argues that the limitation of fundamental human rights must achieve benefits that are proportional to the cost of the limitation, and that the infringement will not be considered proportional if there are less restrictive but equally effective means to achieve the same purpose. Ultimately, it highlights that education and the necessary measures of protection for all children, specifically those children with special needs and children belonging to vulnerable groups should be one of the highest priorities in any national strategy to reopen society.