[Statement] Alyansa Tigil Mina Statement for Human Rights Week

Alyansa Tigil Mina Statement for Human Rights Week
December 11, 2014

This week, the world celebrates International Human Rights Day, the day in which in 1948, Philippines and the other nations of the world proclaimed their commitment to human rights, through the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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When international institutions, like the World Bank, finance development activities in Philippines, these activities, whether they’re infrastructure projects or policy reforms, can have a critical impact on human rights. This impact can be positive, such as facilitating greater access to healthcare or education. But it can also be negative, such as when construction projects forcibly evict communities or damage their environment. The impact on human rights depends in large part on what protections are put in place.

The World Bank, the most preeminent public development institution, is currently revising its policies designed to ensure that development activities don’t harm local communities or the environment. As a member country of the World Bank, the Philippine government is being consulted, and will have a say on the final policy.

On October 23, the first consultation was held in the Philippines in Astoria Plaza in Ortigas, Pasig City, and was greeted by a walk-out and a protest of various Civil Society Organizations and Non-government Organizations that were unhappy with the lack of right-upholding provisions in the recent draft safeguard policies.

(Press Release: CSOs reject diluted World Bank safeguards http://alyansatigilmina.net/2014/10/23/press-release-csos-reject-world-bank-safeguards/)

What is Philippines’ national position on human rights and development? Will we support a requirement to identify and manage human rights risks and to ensure that development activities respect, protect, and fulfill human rights? Will we allow the World Bank to weaken its existing standards?

Sixty-six years have passed since we adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. It is time for Philippines to ensure that development activities actually bring real development – by respecting, protecting, and fulfilling human rights.

Note: This statement was sent as a letter to the editors of different publications on December 10, 2014.

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Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer (0927)623.50.66 media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

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