Geneva event: Human Rights Defenders combating impunity in the Philippines

February 29, 2012

“Human Rights Defenders Combating Impunity in the Philippines” will be the discussion topic of a parallel event on 6 March 2012 from 13h00 to 15h00 during the 19th Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Since the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review in 2008, numerous human rights defenders have been killed, abducted, tortured and continue to be threatened in the Philippines. Often, human rights lawyers, journalists, members of small opposition political parties, trade unionists and anti-mining
and church-based activists are targeted. In many cases the suspected perpetrators are alleged to be members of the state security forces, state-sponsored paramilitaries and private armed groups.

President Benigno Aquino, elected in May 2010, has vowed to end political motivated killings and enforced disappearances, but almost two years after, perpetrators of these human rights violations persist with impunity as very few cases are efficiently investigated and prosecuted in court. In 2011,
the Philippine Commission on Human Rights reported a total of 64 victims of “summary killings”, indicating an upward trend under the new administration.

The event will include short films (personal accounts of a survivor of torture and enforced disappearance and a journalist survivor of a politically-motivated massacre that killed 58 people including 33 journalists). There will also be a panel of human rights defenders from the Philippines presenting their reports about the current human rights situation in the Philippines and the hindrances they have experienced in combating impunity in the country.

What are the deficits within the judicial and security sectors and what concrete measures need to be implemented immediately? The following debate with participants shall offer concrete questions and recommendations which may be useful for stakeholders before and during the interactive dialogue at the May 2012 UPR.

The event is co-sponsored by Aktionsbündnis Menschenrechte Philippinen/Action Network Human Rights Philippines, Franciscans International and Amnesty International.

Franciscans International: Human Rights Defenders combating impunity in the Philippines.

One Response to “Geneva event: Human Rights Defenders combating impunity in the Philippines”

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