Will the government measurements regarding the removal of masks by children create issues of discrimination and segregation?

Blog post by Marica Micallef

Television Malta has reported that children who are under twelve years of age may remove the mask in public as from the first of July if parents or guardians are vaccinated with two doses. [1]

The parents or guardians have to have been vaccinated with the two doses, as announced by Health Minister Dr Chris Fearne. The first question that arises is: why do they calculate herd immunity on the first dose given, but then this does not apply for this new mask mandate?

Secondly, is this a way for the masked children to feel emarginated from those who can stop wearing the mask when in public? Will this put pressure on the parents who have decided not to go for the vaccine to get vaccinated? Will these parents succumb to the vaccine in order not to allow their children to feel emarginated? What kind of games are the authorities playing? Can Dr Fearne explain, without resorting to the usual rhetoric of “All this is to curb the pandemic or for the safety of all?”

Thirdly, aren’t the rights of our children being breached? According to the official Maltese government website office of the Commissioner for Children http://tfal.org.mt and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, with this new measure, our authorities have breached Article 1, 2, 4 and 19. 

Article 1 states that “Everyone under 18 years of age has these rights”.  Article 2 states that “ALL CHILDREN ARE EQUAL.  THERE IS NO REASON WHY CHILDREN SHOULD BE TREATED UNFAIRLY”. 

Article 4 puts the responsibility on the government: “The government has a responsibility to make sure that your rights are protected.  They must help your family to protect your rights and create an environment where you can grow and reach your potential.”  Article 19 adds that “You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body and mind”.

And on behalf of Article 5, which states that “Your family has the responsibility to help you learn how to exercise your rights, and ensure that your rights are respected”.

 I am asking all parents and guardians to send an email to Ms Pauline Micelli, the Maltese Commissioner for Children, whereby you ask for the grant of the protection of the rights of your children. Our actions now will dictate the future of the future generations. What will our children say in 50 years’ time? Will they look back at their ancestors with pride or with dismay?

[1] https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/under-12-year-olds-may-remove-mask-in-public-if-parents-are-vaccinated/

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