China uses force and cohersion to increase vaccination rates
Vaccinating a large portion of the population against COVID-19 is a critical step toward curbing the pandemic – within China and around the world. But setting population percentage targets without clear protections for people’s rights opens up the possibility of authorities abusing the quota to force jabs. And this is exactly what has played out in recent months across the country.
The Chinese government’s forced vaccination tactics, which go far beyond “mandates” being debated and discussed in other countries, are unlikely to assuage vaccine skeptics’ concerns. Instead, they’re likely to seed distrust. International human-rights law allows governments to require people to be vaccinated – but not through physical force or undue coercion.
In some cases, the authorities don’t use physical force but rely on other coercive tactics without offering regular testing or other reasonable accommodation. In Minhe, the authorities announced that they would cut off welfare, retirement or health-insurance benefits for anyone who refused vaccination. In Huludao, schools conditioned student enrolment on the vaccination of the pupil’s entire family, including parents, siblings and grandparents.
Publication: Human Rights Watch
Writter: Yaqiu Wang