Introduction of Restrictive or Incentive Measures for Unvaccinated and Vaccinated Persons is not Discrimination

The country is in the worst epidemiological situation, due to which dozens of people die every day. In the current situation, accelerating vaccination is essential to save the lives of our citizens.

Recently, many citizens and organizations have addressed the Public Defender's Office with questions about whether they violate the rights of a person when they request to present a vaccination document in labour relations, services, health care, education or other areas and whether such a practice is discriminatory. Due to the urgency of the issue, I would like to make public explanations:

The Public Defender has thoroughly studied the latest international practice as well as national legislation in the context of human rights and we can say that in certain areas of public life such as health care, social services, education, public service - the obligation to present a coronavirus vaccination document does not violate rights and is not a discriminatory practice.

Since it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure a safe working environment for life and health, the Public Defender believes that certain restrictive or incentive measures for unvaccinated and vaccinated persons will not be discriminatory, if they are properly substantiated.

Accordingly, employers as well as service providers have the right to oblige an employee or consumer to present a full vaccination document or systematically submit negative results of the PCR test. These rules should provide for exceptions (for example, a medical document confirming that vaccination is not appropriate for a particular person) as well as reasonable accommodation measures.

In addition, the regulations, according to which, only vaccinated people or unvaccinated people with negative test results can enter certain public places, are not recognized as a discriminatory practice either. In some countries, people who have recently recovered from Covid 19 and have a document confirming the above are also allowed to enter such spaces.

According to international practice, the obligation to get vaccinated may lead to interference with the rights of individuals, but such interference is justified when it serves a legitimate aim - the protection of public health and thus the lives of people. Given the current situation, vaccination should be interpreted not only as an individual right, but also as a collective responsibility necessary for the protection of public health and survival of population.

The Public Defender’s Office continues to assist those wishing to register for vaccination, for which you can call our hotline - 1481. Once again, I urge everyone to get vaccinated not only for your own lives, but also for the lives of others, especially minors, for whom vaccines are not available today!

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