[Press Release] Rights groups launch Tao Muna-Hindi Mina campaign, urge candidates to prioritize human rights over mining

Rights groups launch Tao Muna-Hindi Mina campaign, urge candidates to prioritize human rights over mining

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Members of Civil Society, Faith based organizations and Human Rights Defenders working against destructive mining in the country launched a campaign dubbed as “TAO MUNA-HINDI MINA!” to challenge candidates to take up a 10 point Human Rights Agenda on Mining in time for the election campaign period.

The group aims to popularize the agenda online and offline using social networking sites in order to generate the broadest possible support and endorsement by different sectors at the national and local levels. (https://www.facebook.com/TaoMunaHindiMina)

“Mining has been in the national agenda for more than a decade. The assumption into office of PNoy gave hope for a policy change in mining. Unfortunately, government continues to aggressively promote mining as revenue-generating industry despite continued and widespread protests by mining-affected communities as well as civil society.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

“As the electoral campaign period provides an opportunity to propagate the peoples issues and concerns on Mining; human rights, environmental, indigenous peoples and women’s’ groups have come together and developed a 10 Point Human Rights Agenda on Mining. It is a platform to unite all anti-mining groups and individuals during the electoral period. It is an agenda to challenge all candidates to take up and respond to the call for an end to large-scale destructive mining.” Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP).

“Besides urging candidates to commit to the 10 point HR Agenda on Mining, TAO MUNA-HINDI MINA! Campaign is basically an assertion that government as duty bearer should uphold human rights and protect the environment, and should conduct its affairs consistent with human rights standards and principles,” said Max De Mesa, Chairperson of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA).

“This will also complement our advocacy for the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management bill and the scrapping of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 among the candidates and the voting public especially at areas affected by mining where we will ask them to commit in making it as their priority,” the group added.

The group will hold a nationally coordinated symbolic action on April 23 coined as Tao Muna-Hindi Mina-Miting de Avance for the 10 point HR Agenda on Mining to make it appropriate in time for the election and the earth day commemoration as well.

The group will challenge all candidates to take up and respond to the following 10 point HR Agenda on Mining:

1. SCRAP Mining Act of 1995! Enact AMMB.
2. Stop large scale mining.
3. Respect protect fulfill IP Rights, to self determination (FPIC).
4. Protect women human rights defenders and IP women in mining areas.
5. Stop exploitation of workers in Mining Sites.
6. Protect our environment and right to safe sound and balance ecology.
7. Stop killings! Protect human rights defenders!
8. Stop displacement of rural folks. Protect the right to food, water, housing and access to means of subsistence.
9. Stop militarization and Deployment of investment defense forces.
10. Justice for all victims of mining related HRVs. Stop development aggression!

“The 10 point HR Agenda on Mining will be used to raise awareness in the mining affected areas as voter’s platform to register the peoples’ aspiration for candidates to reckon with,” the group concluded. ###

Initial list of groups endorsing the Agenda:
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP)
Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-KSK-FOE
LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights)
Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI)
SOS Yamang Bayan Network
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)

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