Northern Ireland news

CAJ urges Executive to consider 'very carefully before agreeing any kind of vaccination passport or app'

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) has urged the Northern Ireland Executive to consider the human rights implications of Covid-19 vaccine passports
Marie Louise McConville

The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) has urged the Executive to consider the human rights implications of Covid-19 vaccine passports.

The CAJ said it had analysed the proposals for a `digital certificate' of vaccination, which are being discussed by the UK Government and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.

Currently, it is unclear if the so-called passports will be used solely for travel or could also be applied to pubs, shops or workplaces.

The CAJ said it believes that a vaccination app would "interfere with the right to a private life, but it could also discriminate against those who are, for whatever reason, unable to be vaccinated".

The organisation said there was also the danger of "mission creep", which could lead to the passports being used in contexts not originally intended.

Brian Gormally, Director of CAJ, said: "Do we really want to be forced to produce ID, containing personal health data, before we can go to the pub, eat in a restaurant and perhaps go to work or enter a shop?

Read More: Vaccine passports ‘would come with data privacy risks’

"And what about those who cannot be vaccinated through illness or disability - are they to be further excluded from normal society?," he said.

"We know that vaccination against certain diseases is already necessary for travel to some countries, and a system confined to international travel might be more acceptable.

"However, once we accept a digital identity card there is always the danger of `mission creep' and we might have to show it to access all kinds of social facilities".

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