Singapore’s COVID safety measures a big part of its human rights report to the UN

Even as the latest safety measures were announced for the Easter weekend and the parliament is set to discuss a digital vaccine passport system next week, Singapore's handling of the pandemic makes up a big part of its national human rights report to the United Nations (UN).

This year's three-hour review will take place virtually on May 12.
This year's three-hour review will take place virtually on May 12. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@ANI

"The pandemic has 'stress-tested' all countries politically, socially, and economically," Singapore said in its national report, which is publicly available on the UN website. "Singapore's response to the pandemic has demonstrated that we have the social capital to emerge stronger and deal with future crises."

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) looks at the human rights records of all 193 UN member states every five years. Its assessment is based on reports submitted by the country under review, as well as civil society organisations and the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The delegation to this year's UPR will be led by Ambassador-At-Large Chan Heng Chee. This year's three-hour review will take place virtually on May 12.

In related news, Singapore's vaccine programme is set to be one of the chief topics on the parliament agenda next Monday. MPs have filed 16 questions related to vaccination, according to the agenda on the sitting issued by the Clerk of Parliament yesterday.

Parliament will also be asked to approve a total of SGD 27.7 million (USD 20.57 million) towards international efforts to help lower-income countries deal with the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, safety measures including temperature checks, distinct zones and hybrid of online, on-site events are in place at churches for Easter services this year. Restrictions on religious activities were eased last December under phase three of Singapore's reopening.