United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres is concerned about the worldwide rise in violence against Asians and people of Asian descent during the Covid-19 pandemic, a UN spokesman said on Monday.
The UN statement does not single out any particular country, but it comes after a shooting in Atlanta in the US earlier this month left eight people dead in local spas, six of them Asian-American women.
The shootings have stoked fears among members of Asian-American communities across the US, many of which have reported a growing spike in hate crimes since March 2020 when then-president Donald Trump began referring to Covid-19 as the “China virus” and “Kung flu” because of the virus’ alleged origins in Wuhan, China.
“The world has witnessed horrific deadly attacks, verbal and physical harassment, bullying in schools, workplace discrimination, incitement to hatred in the media and on social media platforms, and incendiary language by those in positions of power,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.
“In some countries, Asian women have been specifically targeted for attack, adding misogyny to the toxic mix of hatred,” he said.
During a visit to Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, US President Joe Biden deplored a surge in anti-Asian violence and asked all Americans to stand together against hate.