HR watchdog: Phl makes little progress against rights violations
By Pia Lee-Brago, The Philippine Star
January 03, 2012
MANILA, Philippines – The New York-based Human Rights Watch said yesterday that the Aquino administration has made little progress in addressing impunity for serious human rights violations despite promises of reform.
Following the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) submission, the human rights watchdog pointed to impunity for unexplained killings and enforced disappearances, “private armies” and state-backed militias, violations of international humanitarian law, “death squads,” sexual and reproductive rights and migrant workers’ rights as among the country’s main concerns.
Scrutiny of the Philippines is part of the UPR, a new UN mechanism used in assessing the human rights record of all United Nations member states.
The human rights watchdog said unexplained killings of leftist activists and petty criminals continue, with the government failing to address involvement by security forces and local officials.
Human Rights Watch said the Philippines is a multiparty democracy with an elected president and legislature, a thriving civil society sector, and a vibrant media, “but several key institutions including the civilian and military justice systems remain weak, and the military and police still commit human rights violations with impunity.”
In the previous UPR in 2008, the Philippines committed to implement recommendation 6 to “completely eliminate torture and extrajudicial killings” and to “intensify its efforts to carry out investigations and prosecutions on extrajudicial killings and punish those responsible.”
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- Joint CSO Report for the 2nd Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR):PHILIPPINES (renatomabunga.wordpress.com)