We face a public health emergency, and criminalizing the marginalized can worsen the crisis – Halifax Examiner

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by ahnationtalk on March 23, 202035 Views

Nova Scotia has just declared a State of Emergency. Measures taken include a ban on gatherings over five people, the ability of the police to fine individuals and businesses breaking social isolation, the ability of the police to enter property, and the seizure of vehicles at provincial parks.

It is clear that serious measures must be taken to ensure the virus isn’t spreading. The strongest public health response is necessary, and this requires collective effort and social responsibility.

However, when health issues become criminalized, historical evidence shows that vulnerable people become increasingly victimized. This outcome can actually run counter to public health aims.

A responsible public health response also requires considering the impact of these measures on racialized, homeless, and mentally ill people, as well as other marginalized groups. We must ensure that a crisis response doesn’t result in further oppression and harm to these communities.

Read More: https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/featured/we-face-a-public-health-emergency-and-criminalizing-the-marginalized-can-worsen-the-crisis/

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