[in the news] CHR pushes for passage of bill protecting human-rights workers | Inquirer.net

#HumanRights #Protection

CHR pushes for passage of bill protecting human-rights workers

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has called for the passage of a bill that seeks to protect human-rights workers in view of recent attacks on activists and members of progressive organizations.

According to CHR, House Bill No. 9199 or the Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Protection Bill should be considered a high-priority legislation especially in light of various reports that rights workers and other activists are either being harassed or targeted.

“The bill’s enactment into law should be a high priority considering the unceasing attacks, threats, and the general climate of hostility faced by human rights defenders and advocates,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said.

“We echo the recent statement of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Ms. Mary Lawlor, stressing that the bill shall concretely show our country’s commitment to human rights obligations. Passing the bill will demonstrate our government’s recognition of the essential work of the human rights defenders,” she added.

HB No. 9199 was passed on the third and final reading at the House of Representatives last June 2019, when the 17th Congress was still in session. At the Senate, the counterpart proposal labeled as Senate Bill No. 178 has been pending in the committee level.

The House bill was authored by members of the 17th Congress’ Makabayan bloc and other opposition stalwarts like Albay 1st Distict Rep. Edcel Lagman and Caloocan 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice.

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