The pandemic affects people to different degrees and increases the disadvantage of already vulnerable groups Platform for human rights in Salzburg in this year’s Salzburg human rights report. A group is considered to be vulnerable when social or economic factors make it more difficult for it to insist on its human rights. The platform announced its daily report in an online press conference today.
The corona pandemic has created new hurdles for people with disabilities, said Christine Dürnfeld, spokeswoman for the platform for human rights in Salzburg. Closing the facilities has completely changed the daily structure for many. “There’s no substitute for a walk,” she says. Visiting friends is often difficult with a wheelchair or other restrictions, the consequence of which is social isolation. “Many feel excluded. Mental health simply went under here, ”criticizes the psychologist.
Change to digital with hurdles
The switch to digital has also increased the barrier for people with disabilities. Work and education are often only possible to a limited extent and partly a question of financial feasibility if special technology such as a keyboard for the blind is required. “We’re still way behind when it comes to inclusion. Especially in times of crisis, ”says Dürnfeld.
Distance learning inequalities
In the field of education, social inequalities were generally increased by distance learning. Since not all children have access to technical facilities in their homes, many have been left behind. In addition, distributing devices does not solve the problem, says Barbara Sieberth, spokeswoman for the platform for human rights. They also need internet access and a quiet place to be able to take part in classes.
Child and youth work neglected
Many young people have also lacked a contact person in the past few months. The fact that child and youth welfare workers were withdrawn to help with contact tracing will have psychological consequences for the children, said Dürnfeld. “Consultations must always be possible, no matter what the situation is,” she demands. Instead of closing contact points, the offers have to be expanded further.
There is still structural racism in Salzburg, reports Sieberth. You can see that in the lack of political representation of people with a migration background. There are also still cases where people are denied access to a shop because of their ethnicity. The anti-discrimination office in the city of Salzburg documented 62 such and similar incidents of racist behavior this year. If you experience such a situation, you can show solidarity and also leave the business. In the case of insults, it often helps to simply involve dying in a conversation. If an incident is criminally relevant, you can offer yourself as a witness, says the lawyer.
Platform for human rights in Salzburg
The platform for human rights is an association of social and cultural institutions, church and political organizations and private individuals from Salzburg. She has been documenting systematic problems and human rights violations in Salzburg for 18 years.
This year, the development in the social office of the city of Salzburg was particularly positive, where there is now increasing emphasis on social work. The 24-hour care in a Salzburg hostel also helped many people, albeit for a limited time, according to Sieberth. “Structurally we are definitely here because the situation can be improved.”