Civil society organisations have called for everyone living in Tunisia to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. In a letter published last Tuesday, the organisations accused the national vaccination programme that excludes people who do not hold an official identity document (passport or identity card) and asked for access to the most vulnerable groups, including irregular migrants and asylum seekers.
The organisations signing the letter called on the Ministry of Health to allow people holding an ‘asylum card’ and ‘asylum seekers’ to access the vaccine registration portal. They added that the Tunisian government must respond to its historical responsibility by regularising the situation of these migrants and refugees through a well-defined action plan so that they are not excluded from the vaccination plan.
The organisations recalled that discrimination based on identity or administrative status is a breach of the international law and international conventions such as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, both ratified by Tunisia.
The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH), the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) and the Tunisian Association of the Democratic Women (ATFD) signed the letter.