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Children's rights and Covid-19 testing

Blanket or mandatory Covid-19 testing

We are aware that certain children and young people have found themselves in situations where a private establishment, such as a school, has required them to get a Covid-19 test as part of a blanket ruling, regardless of whether or not there is a concrete reason for the test (such as having travelled abroad, for example). 

Anyone who is in a similar position can read a summary of the child rights perspective on it below. However, if this doesn't answer your particular question(s), please do feel free to contact us through the normal channels.

 

What rights does a child or young person have in this situation?

As a general rule, businesses are not bound by human rights obligations, so in a situation where blanket testing (or testing perceived to be unnecessary) is being demanded, it may default to contractual arrangements.

This means that if the institution in question is  privately owned - such as a fee-paying school, for example - then they could argue that they are a private organisation, and as such, are not obstructing a child's right to education because there are other States-run schools on the Island that the child could attend instead. 

However, presenting a financial barrier (namely, asking parents to pay for the cost of a Covid-19 test) is a less cut-and-dried area, as it could demonstrably prevent a child from exercising their rights. 

But this is not a black and white issue. The dilemma faced by all educational and youth-oriented establishments at the present time is one of balancing the protection of rights with the exercising of necessary practical precautions.

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