Category Archives: Universal Periodic Review

[Blog] Live webcast hinggil sa karapatang pantao ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Live webcast hinggil sa karapatang pantao

ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Isang malaking karangalan sa akin ang mapasama sa live webcast viewing ng Universal Periodic Review (UPR) ng Pilipinas nitong Mayo 29, 2012. Kasabay ito ng naganap na botohan ng mga senador sa impeachment. Isinagawa ang nasabing UPR sa ikatlong palapag ng multipurpose hall ng Commission on Human Rights (CHR) sa Daang Commonwealth sa Lungsod Quezon.

Nag-imbita ang PAHRA at PhilRights sa pamamagitan ng email at tawag sa telepono sa iba’t ibang NGOs at POs nang sila’y maimbitahan naman ng CHR para sa magaganap na live webcast. Maaga pa lang, bandang alas-dos ay naroon na ako, dahil nakalagay sa imbitasyon ay magsisimula ito ng 2:15 pm at magtatapos ng 8:15 pm. Nakaanunsyo rin ito sa HR Online. Maya-maya’t dumating na rin ang mga kinatawan ng Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), PhilRights, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Medical Action Group (MAG), mga kawani ng CHR, Youth for National Democracy (YND), Sarilaya, Women’s Legal Bureau, mga department heads ng CHR, at marami pang iba. Ako naman ang kumatawan sa Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML). May photographer din at may taga-video sa loob ng session hall.

Mga 150 katao rin ang nakadalo sa live webcast, na nagsimula nang ganap na ikatlo ng hapon. Naka-LCD ito sa isang malaking pader. Malakas din ang sound kaya dinig ito kahit nasa bandang likod. Aircon ang silid na ang dingding ay salamin. Sa ibaba ng screen ay nakalagay ang http://www.unorg/webcast – United Nations Webcast. Sinimulan ang buong sesyon sa panalangin at sa pag-awit ng Lupang Hinirang.

Ang nag-emcee ay si Ms. Karen Dumpit ng CHR. At ang nagbigay ng paunang pananalita ay si Commissioner Norberto de la Cruz, Officer in Charge.

Sa live webcast, ang tagapag-ulat para sa Pilipinas ay si Department of Justice secretary Leila De Lima, na dating Chief ng CHR. Tinalakay niya ang ulat ng Pilipinas hinggil sa karapatang pantao sa harap ng mga kinatawan ng iba’t ibang bansa na pulong ng United Nations Human Rights Council.

Binanggit ni De Lima ang pagsasabatas ng amended Migrant Workers Act, ang amended Labor Code hinggil sa nightwork for women, ang pag-decriminalize sa libel, ang pagsasabatas ng Anti-Torture Act of 2009, at ang ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking. Marami pa siyang natalakay hinggil sa karapatang pantao sa bansa. Matapos niyang mag-ulat ay nagbigay naman ng pahayag ang iba’t ibang bansa. Ayon sa ilang mga kasama sa HR network, nasa 71 bansa ang nakatakdang magpahayag hinggil sa ulat ng Pilipinas.

Agad kong napansin dito ang iba’t ibang spelling ng mga bansa nang sila na’y magpahayag, magtanong at magkomento hinggil sa ulat ng Pilipinas. Ang una na rito ay ang bansang Singapour (Singapore), na imbes na pore na karaniwan nating alam ay pour na akala mo’y nagbuhos ang pagkabaybay sa pangalan ng bansa. Sumunod ay Slovaque, na tingin ko’y Slovakia, ang Serbia naman ay Serbie.

Saka ko lang naunawaan ito nang malaman kong sa Geneva nga pala sila nag-uulat. Gayunman, inilista ko ang mga pangalan ng bansang ito na nasa wikang Pranses, at sa talaan ay isinama ko ang tamang pagbaybay ayon sa nakikita natin sa Pilipinas. Gayunman, ang Philippines ay tama ang pagkabaybay.

Marami ding hindi mo agad maintindihan tulad ng Pays-Bas, na iyon pala’y bansang The Netherlands, kung saan ang Pays-Bas ay salitang Pranses, ang kahulugan ng pays ay mga bansa at ang bansa ay mababa (low countries).

Nagkomento hinggil sa ulat ng Pilipinas ang mga bansang Corée du Sud (South Korea), Slovakia, Afrique du Sud (South Africa), Espagne (Spain), Sri Lanka, Suede (Sweden), Thailande (Thailand), Timor Leste (East Timor), Trinidad an Tobago (Trinidad and Tobago), Emirats Arabies Unis (United Arab Emirates), Royaume-Uni (United Kingdom), Etats Unis (USA), Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Australie (Australia), Austriche (Austria), Azerbadjan (Azerbaijan), Bahrein (Bahrain), Belarus, Bresil (Brazil), Brunei Darussalam, Cambodgie (Cambodia), Canada, Chile, Cuba, Danemark (Denmark), Egypte (Egypt), France, Saint-Siege, Allemagne (Germany), Indie (India), Indonesie (Indonesia). Di gaanong kita ang buong pangalan ng ilang bansang nag-ulat pagkat nakapokus ang camera sa tao kaya di na natin nalaman kung paano ang pagka-spell, tulad ng Bangladesh, Belgium, Ecuador, atbp.

May mga bansang lalaki ang nagsasalita ngunit boses-babae, tulad ng Qatar. Meron namang babae ang nagsasalita ngunit boses-lalaki, tulad ng Madagascar. Haka ko, hindi nagsasalita ng Ingles iyong iba at interpreter nila ang nagsasalita, mga interpreter na nasa kanilang likod at nakatayo. Nabanggit naman ng Australia na dapat mahuli at managot pag napatunayan ang mga suspek sa mga extra-judicial killings sa Pilipinas, tulad nina Palparan, Reyes ng Palawan at mga suspek sa Maguindanao massacre.

Sinagot ni De Lima ang mga tanong at mungkahi ng mga nagpahayag na bansa. Sinabi niyang pinaigting na ang pagsubaybay (monitoring) ng bansa hinggil sa EJK (extra-juducial killings), sapilitang pagkawala (forced disapperances) at torture. Nagtayo na rin ng special task force ang DOJ kasama ang independyenteng CHR, at meron silang MOA (memorandum of agreement). Nagkaroon na rin ng legal remedies tulad ng writ of habeas data. Pagpapatibay ng witness protection program. Pagkakaroon ng IRR (implementing rules and regulations) ng Ra 9745 o Anti-Torture Act of 2009. Pati na rin ang Rome Statute – RA 9851 na batas hinggil sa IHL international humanitarian law, genocide, atbp. Meron na ring panukalang batas (bill) sa kongreso hinggil sa sapilitang pagkawala.

Pinagsalita rin ni De Lima ang dalawa niyang kasamahan, tulad ng Executive Director ng Philippine Commission of Women (PCW) at Undersecretary ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Di ko na nakuha ang kanilang mga pangalan. Iniulat ng taga-PCW ang hinggil sa reproductive and sexual health, mother and children’s health at anti-discrimination bill, habang iniulat naman ng taga-DSWD ang hinggil sa right to education, basic literacy program, rescuing child laborers, at ang anti-pornography council. Nakita rin sa video si CHR Commissioner Etta Rosales, ngunit di siya nagsalita sa harapan ng UNHRC.

Ang sumunod na bansang nagpahayag ay ang Iraq, Irlande (Ireland), Jamaique (Jamaica), Laos, Lettonie (Latvia), Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malaisie (Malaysia), Mexique (Mexico), Qatar, Myanmar, Pays-Bas, Nouvelle-Zelande (New Zealand), Nicaragua, Noruege (Norway), Pakistan, Palestine, Portugal at Maroc (Morocco).

Sinagot ni Sec. De Lima ang mga katanungan mula sa Laos, Mexico, New Zealand at Morocco. Ayon sa kanya, isinasagawa ng Pilipinas and prosecution and conviction of traffickers, rescue of traffic victimes, awareness raising, at ang recent ascension ng Pilipinas sa Rome Statute. Pinagsalita niyang muli ang taga-DSWD na nag-ulat hinggil sa PWDs (persons with disabilities) kung saan ang mga ito’y may 20% discount sa mga gamot mula sa Mercury Drugs, at 5% discount naman sa mga pangunahing bilihin. Meron din umanong panukalang batas na pag-amyenda sa Magna Carta on PWD upang igiit ang pantay na pagkakataon sa pagtatrabaho.

Dinagdag din ni De Lima ang pag-institusyonalisa ng mekanismong feedback. Kasama rin, anya, ang anti-poverty and corruption sa 16-Point Agenda ng social contract sa mamamayang Pilipino. Ayon pa sa kanya, nagpunta ang mga kinatawan ng Pilipinas sa Geneva dahil sa kanilang human rights obligation, at ang lahat ng rekomendasyon ng mga bansa ay kanilang pag-aaralan. Sa huli’y nagpasalamat na siya sa pangulo ng UNHRC na isa ring babae, at sa lahat ng mga kinatawan ng mga bansa.

Bandang 6:30 na ng gabi, nagkaroon kami ng 5 minutes break sa loob ng session hall. Matapos iyon ay nagpahayag ang ilang mga dumalo sa live webcast na iyon ng kanilang kuro-kuro. Unang nagsalita ang kinatawan ng PAHRA na si Rose Trajano kung saan iniulat niyang tatlong bansa ang nagrekomenda ng pag-ratify ng optional protocol, at 5 silang naroon sa Geneva, na kinatawan ng iba’t ibang human rights organization sa bansa upang mangampanya hindi sa mismong pulong kundi sa paggawa pa lamang ng draft. Ang ikalawa’y nagpahayag hinggil sa compensation bill. Ang ikatlo’y nagsalita ang mula sa Komite ng Edukasyon ng CHR. Ang ikaapat ay mula sa BMP. Ang ikalima’y mula sa Women’s Legal Bureau, sumunod ay mula muli sa CHR. At nagpahayag din ang tagapangulo ng PAHRA na si Max De Mesa.

May mga nagpahayag na may kakulangan din ang mga ulat ng Pilipinas, tulad ng hindi pagdodokumento sa mga paglabag sa karapatan ng manggagawa. Ngunit sinagot ito na dapat ay verified cases lang ang iniuulat. Ibig sabihin, ang mga kaso ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao ay dapat agarang iulat sa kinauukulan.

Matapos ang pagpapahayag ng mga kuro-kuro, ipinakilala naman ang bagong website ng karapatang pantao – ang iHumanRights.ph. Meron silang planong sa Disyembre 2012, dapat meron nang “over 40,000 documents encoded and categorized by HRV, UPR and Treaty Bodies”. Inanunsyo rin dito ng emcee ang aklat na “A Road in Search of a Map: The Philippines’ Human Rights Compliance”. Ang nilalaman nito’y mga tinipong akda ng CHR at Civil Society Reports para sa “2nd Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process for the Philippines, 2008-2011″, at naglalaman ito ng 92 pahina, na nasa 6″ x 9” ang sukat. Limitadong kopya lang ito at nakakuha ako ng isang kopya.

Hindi naman kami nagutom dahil habang kami’y nakikinig, maya’t maya ang dating ng mga pagkaing Pinoy, tulad ng cornick, banana cue, fish ball, palamig na sago, at may mineral water. Ang hapunan naman namin ay binalot, kung saan namili kami sa limang klase ng ulam: tapa, tosino, baboy, adobo at manok. Ang pinili ko ay tapa.

Bago umuwi’y naglitratuhan muna sa harapan kasama ang mga dumalo habang hawak nila ang tarpouline hinggil sa naganap na live webcast sa CHR. Alas-otso na ng gabi nang kami’y umalis sa lugar.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Announcement] Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia) and the UPR

Dear Everyone,

Good day! I wish to share with you recent website articles concerning the UPR of the Philippines.

“Philippines Human Rights record reviewed by the Human Rights Council”
http://www.childrightscoalitionasia.org/philippines-human-rights-record-reviewed-by-human-rights-council

“HR Council adopted UPR working group report on Philippines; Government accepted 53 recommendations”
http://www.childrightscoalitionasia.org/hr-council-adopted-upr-working-group-report-on-philippines-government-accepted-53-recommendations

Please feel free to share this with other colleagues and networks in the Philippines.

Please take note of the recommendations that are subject to further review. The government is due to give its feedback to HRC in September 2012. It is vital that these recommendations be accepted. Once accepted, these recommendations will be considered in the next cycle of the UPR where the Philippines is obligated to give an update on the measures undertaken.

Best regards,

Ryan V. Silverio
Convenor
Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia)
Unit 1501 Future Point Plaza 1,
112 Panay Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax: +632-376-63-88
Mobile: +63917-879-77-10
Website: http://www.childrightscoalitionasia.org

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] Statement of the Philippine Civil Society Organizations on the UPR

Statement of the Philippine Civil Society Organizations on the UPR* (Late posting)

29 May, GENEVA – As the Senate sitting as impeachment court have declared Chief Justice Renato Corona guilty, the Philippine government is currently reporting to the Thirteenth Session of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Universal Periodic Review from 9AM – 12:30 PM Geneva time (3-6:30PM Manila time).

A total of 65 countries are asking questions or comments to the Philippine report. The Philippine delegation is headed by Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Meanwhile, the NGO’s which have lobbied countries to ask questions and forward recommendations to the Philippine official delegation, in order to surface the human rights issues from the perspective of the claimholders, are also present. These NGOs monitoring the report in Geneva include the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB), Coalition against Trafficking in Women– Asia Pacific (CATWAP), Children Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRD) and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA).

Most interventions were in the area of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, as well as of gender equality and trafficking.

However, NGO leaders present were unhappy with the silence of the official Philippine delegation on critical issues raised within each theme. “We strongly support Uruguay’s recommendation for bilateral agreements with source, transit and destination countries of trafficking, as well as on
protecting women in prostitution,” according to Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of CATW-AP. “The Philippine government is silent about transparency in its use of the anti-trafficking budget, and on why the government passed a law decriminalizing vagrancy on April 5, 2012, which
however, discriminated against women in prostitution by keeping them criminalized.”

Jelen Paclarin, Executive Director of the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) commented on the issue of women’s access to justice in the Philippines. “The Philippine government is still failing to provide protection and build a supportive environment for women and children within
the judicial system, and in so doing, contributes to the persistence of a culture of systemic impunity embedded in the criminal justice system. The time to move beyond de jure equality to de facto equality is very much long past due. We call on the Philippine government to act with due diligence and uphold its obligation to respect and implement all human rights and freedoms, specifically women’s human rights. We call on the government to address the rising cases of violence against women by holding perpetrators accountable and dispensing justice without delay to ensure women are able to access justice and enjoy their rights”.

On the overwhelming question on extra-judicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances, PAHRA Chairperson, Max de Mesa said: “Government with its security forces must determinedly address the continuing impunity of these human rights violations which are mostly perpetrated and
perpetuated by disregarding the exercise of its obligation of command responsibility. It must also be noted that many of the victims are human rights defenders who earlier were vilified and/or criminalized.” De Mesa added: “Human rights education conducted among the security forces in all their institutions, if not internalized, will not assist a paradigm shift towards a human rights culture but may only serve as a veneer to impunity.”

On the claims of human rights work among security personnel, APL Secretary-General Josua Mata commented that “The Armed Forces and Police Savings & Loan Association, Inc (*AFPSLAI*) labour case puts into question the AFP leadership’s sincerity in upholding human rights, specifically that of the workers.” The chief of staff and other top officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who comprise the majority of the board of AFPSLAI. It continues to ignore the wanton violation of the rights of AFPSLAI union leaders, whose only ‘fault’ was to expose the anomalous practices in the bank.

Both Enriquez of CATW-AP and Paclarin of WLB, however, lauded recommendations by Sweden and Switzerland among others to pass the Reproductive Health Bill, and that of Argentina to address the discrimination against the LGBT.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[From the web] Universal Periodic Review: Series of recommendations to Philippines -OHCHR.org

In total, States participating in the discussion posed a series of recommendations to Philippines. These included, among others:

  • To step up efforts to fully prohibit and address cases of torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances and ensure there were mechanisms in place to address such cases;
  • To enhance human rights-based training for all law enforcement personnel on the absolute prohibition of torture and ill treatment;
  • To ratify the Convention on forced disappearances, withdraw all reservations to the CAT and ensure national legislation was in line with the Rome ICC Statute, to ensure related cases were well recorded;
  • To ensure that victims of torture and ill treatment had effective access to a medical evaluation; to improve the condition of prisons and detention centres;
  • To end impunity for extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture and bring those responsible to justice, including Major General Jovito Palparan Jr, former Governor Joel Reyes and the perpetrators of the Maguindanao massacre;
  • To ensure adequate protection of human rights defenders and journalists and effectively investigate and prosecute attacks against journalists and to introduce into domestic law strong legislation prohibiting these acts and imposing criminal penalties;
  • To invite the UN Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders to visit the country;
  • To dismantle and disarm all paramilitary forces and militias, or alternatively ensure that the army exercises full control of these elements; to revoke Executive Order 546 on the use of child soldiers;
  • To step up efforts to combat human trafficking and to strengthen relations with countries of transit and origin for victims of human trafficking and to establish programmes for the rehabilitation and social integration for women victims of sexual exploitation;
  • To amend the abortion law to allow safe abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the health and life of the pregnant woman was at risk; to enact legislation to address the status of children born out of wedlock;
  • To step up efforts to combat child labour and to fully prohibit corporal punishment; to increase measures on the rights to education to ensure equal access to education for all children, to special attention for children with disabilities and street children;
  • To step up efforts to meet the basic needs of the society’s exposed groups; To redouble efforts in the area of wealth distribution and poverty eradication;
  • To ratify ILO Convention 189 pertaining to domestic workers and 169 concerning indigenous people;
  • To implement the Act on the Rights of Indigenous People to guarantee that economic activities did not have a negative effect on the rights of indigenous people; to intensify efforts for the sustainable use of natural resources;
  • To consider establishing legislation to combat discrimination against LGBT persons;
  • To consider issuing a standing invitation to Special Procedures.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/Highlights29May2012am.aspx

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Event] Live webcast viewing of the Universal Periodic Review session on May 29, 2012

Dear All,

CHR will sponsor a live webcast viewing of the Universal Periodic Review session on May 29, 2012, at the CHR multi-purpose hall from 2:15 to 8:30pm.

A simultaneous webcast can also be viewed at the United Nations multimedia website

http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/c/un-human-rights-council.html

[From the web] Human Rights Council UPR to commence 2nd cycle with 13th Working Group session on 21 May to 4 June 2012 -www.ohchr.org

Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review to commence second cycle with thirteenth Working Group session to be held from 21 May to 4 June 2012

UPR Working Group to Review Human Rights Records of 14 States

15 May 2012

The thirteenth session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group will be held in Geneva from 21 May to 4 June during which the next group of 14 States will have their human rights records examined under this mechanism. With the convening of this session, the UPR will have begun its second cycle of reviews.

The group of States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during this session are (in order of review): Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Philippines, Algeria, Poland, the Netherlands, and South Africa. The meeting will take place in Room XX at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Representatives of the 14 countries will come before the Working Group, which comprises the entire membership of the 47-member Human Rights Council, to present efforts they have made in fulfilling their human rights obligations and commitments, assessing both positive developments and identifying challenges. As an integral part of the second cycle of the UPR, States under Review will also spell out the steps they have taken to implement accepted recommendations posed to them during their first review. The reports serving as the basis for these reviews can be found at the following link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/Documentation.aspx

Speaking on the occasion of the conclusion of the first cycle of the UPR during the last session of the Working Group in October 2011, the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, described the UPR as “unique process”, which provided “a comprehensive map on human rights situations around the globe.” She added that the second cycle would prove to be a “moment of truth” for many.

For her part, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, speaking at the Council’s last session in March this year, said the second cycle “will test the mechanism’s value and credibility.” She called on States “to be impartial, objective and realistic in assessing the human rights situation and putting forward new recommendations”.

During the session, an interactive dialogue between the country under review and the Council will take place in the Working Group. Each country review will last three and one-half hours and an additional half hour will be devoted to the adoption of the Working Group’s report for each country. The review for each State will be facilitated by groups of three Council members from different regional groups, or troikas, who will act as rapporteurs. The troikas for the upcoming 13th session were selected through a drawing of lots on 3 May. The list of troikas for the 13th session can be found at the following link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx

The final outcome of the session will be adopted by the plenary of the Council at its twenty-first regular session taking place in September 2012.

About the Universal Periodic Review

General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, which created the Human Rights Council, mandated the Council to “undertake a universal periodic review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfilment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States; the review shall be a cooperative mechanism, based on an interactive dialogue, with the full involvement of the country concerned and with consideration given to its capacity-building needs; such a mechanism shall complement and not duplicate the work of treaty bodies.”

Subsequently, the Universal Periodic Review mechanism was established through the adoption by the Council of its “institution-building package” – HRC resolution 5/1 – on 18 June 2007, one year after its first meeting. Among the elements of this package was the new Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which aims to ensure that all United Nations Member States, starting with the members of the Council, have their records examined in order to improve human rights conditions worldwide. Furthermore, the Council decided that these reviews would be conducted on one working group composed of the 47 members of the Council.

The UPR Working Group consequently held its inaugural session in April 2008 for the first group of States, the order for which was decided through the drawing of lots. With the holding of this first session the first cycle took off through which all 193 United Nations Member States have had their human rights records reviewed over a four-year period; this includes South Sudan which became a Member State during the course of the first cycle.

Per Human Rights Council resolution 16/21 adopted on 25 March 2011 and decision 17/119 pertaining to the review of the Council, the second and subsequent cycles of the UPR should focus on, inter alia, the implementation of the accepted recommendations and the developments of the human rights situation in the State under review. This resolution and decision also established that the periodicity of the review for the second and subsequent cycles will be four and a half years, instead of four, and thus 42 States would be reviewed per year during three sessions of the UPR Working Group. Moreover, the order of reviews established for the first cycle was to be maintained. The calendar of State reviews for the second cycle can be found at the following link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx

UPR Reporting and Objectives

In accordance with the Council’s “institution-building package”, and as reinforced by the outcome of the Council’s review adopted last March, the three documents on which State reviews should be based are information prepared by the State concerned, which could be presented either orally or in writing; information contained in the reports of treaty bodies and Special Procedures, to be compiled in a report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and information provided by other relevant stakeholders to the UPR including non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, academic institutions and research institutes, regional organizations, as well as civil society representatives, also to be summarized by OHCHR in a separate document.

Per the adopted institution-building package, the objectives of the Universal Periodic Review are: the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground; fulfilment of the State’s human rights obligations and commitments and assessment of positive developments and challenges faced by the State; the enhancement of the State’s capacity and of technical assistance, in consultation with, and with the consent of, the State concerned; the sharing of best practice among States and other stakeholders; support for cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights; and, the encouragement of full cooperation and engagement with the Council, other human rights bodies and OHCHR.

Provisional Timetable for the Universal Periodic Review Working Group 13th Session:

Monday, 21 May

09h00 – 12h30 Review of Bahrain
14h30 – 18h00 Review of Ecuador

Tuesday, 22 May

09h00 – 12h30 Review of Tunisia
14h30 – 18h00 Review of Morocco

Wednesday, 23 May

09h00 – 12h30 Review of Indonesia
14h30 – 18h00 Review of Finland

Thursday, 24 May

09h00 – 12h30 Review of United Kingdom
14h30 – 18h00 Review of India

Friday, 25 May

09h00 – 12h30 Review of Brazil
15h00 – 18h00 Adoption of reports on Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia and Finland

Tuesday, 29 May

09h00 – 12h30 Review of Philippines
14h30 – 18h00 Review of Algeria

Wednesday, 30 May

10h00 – 11h30 Adoption of reports on United Kingdom, India and Brazil
14h00 – 18h00 Review of Poland

Thursday, 31 May

09h00 – 12h30 Review of the Netherlands
14h30 – 18h00 Review of South Africa

Friday, 1 June

15h00 – 16h30 Adoption of reports on Philippines, Algeria and Poland

Monday, 4 June

15h00 – 16h00 Adoption of reports on the Netherlands and South Africa

Additional information on the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, including the reports for each country review can be located at the Universal Periodic Review webpage on the OHCHR website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx

Media contact: Rolando Gomez, Public Information Officer, OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org
For use of the information media; not an official record

Source: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12157&LangID=E

[Event] Forum on the Joint Civil Society Report for the 2nd cycle of the UPR 13th Session

April 20, 2012

Dear fellow human rights defender,

The Philippines, among other States Parties, will be the focus of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) 13th session from May 21-June 4, 2012 by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council. The UPR is a process which provides “the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have done to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations.”

The Medical Action Group (MAG) and the Institute of Human Rights (IHR), University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center, in coordination with the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) would like to invite you or your representative to participate in a public presentation forum on the Joint Civil Society Report for the 2nd cycle of the UPR 13th Session. This forum is set to be held on May 18, 2012 (Friday) at 2nd Floor, Bocobo Hall, UP Law Center, Diliman, Quezon City from 1:00 to 4:30PM.

While at this, one of the priority issues in the Joint Civil Society Report is the campaign against torture in the Philippines. Thus there will be a presentation of the research output by the UP IHR on the Confidential Inquiry Procedure of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The forum is designed to inform the stakeholders about the highlights of the Joint Civil Society Report for the UPR and its significance in improving the human rights situation in the country. Likewise, the forum aims to educate the human rights community as well as other stakeholders in the complaint procedure provided for in the Article 20 of the Convention against Torture as a tool for combating torture in the country.

Should you have any inquiry, please call the MAG office at 433-15-94 or 441-10-73 and look for Jerbert M. Briola.

We look forward to your favorable response. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Yours sincerely,

Edeliza P. Hernandez, RN
Executive Director
Medical Action Group

 All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[From the web] CIVICUS Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 13th Session of the UPR Working Group

Philippines
Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 13th Session of the UPR Working Group
Submitted 28 November 2011
Submitted by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

1. (A) Introduction

1.1 CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international movement with members in more than 100 countries worldwide. Established in 1993, CIVICUS nurtures the foundation, growth and protection of citizen action throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizen’s freedom of association are threatened.

1.2 In this document, CIVICUS outlines urgent concerns related to the environment in which civil society activists and human rights defenders operate in the Philippines. This submission highlights the major breaches of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

· Section B highlights concerns regarding assassinations and extra-judicial killings of
activists and other civilians
· Section C focuses on the disappearance, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention of
civilians
· Section D highlights attacks on freedom of expression and association of civil
society organisations
· Section E highlights the militarisation in rural and urban areas and the
displacement of civilians
· In Section F, CIVICUS makes a number of recommendations to the Philippine
Government.

Read full report @ upr philippines CIVICUS submission

[From the web] Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, May-June 2012

Amnesty International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, May-June 2012

INTRODUCTION

In this submission, prepared for the UN Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines taking place in May-June 2012, Amnesty International comments on the government’s implementation of recommendations supported by the Philippines during its previous UPR in 2008, including recommendations concerning women’s rights, torture, extra-judicial executions, and enforced disappearances.

Improvements in the human rights situation on the ground have been slow as the Philippines has struggled to implement both its existing and recently enacted laws related to the protection of human rights. Hundreds of cases of extra-judicial executions and enforced disappearances from the last decade remain unresolved, and unlawful killings and enforced disappearances continue to be reported. Despite the introduction of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009, state security forces have continued to practice or be complicit in torture. The government’s continued failure to disarm and disband private armed groups places civilians at risk. Access to reproductive health information and services is restricted. Abortion is criminalized, including where pregnancy puts a woman’s life at risk.

FOLLOW UP TO THE PREVIOUS REVIEW

In its first UPR in 2008, the Philippines accepted a number of recommendations made by other States, including on issues pertaining to women’s rights,1 human rights training,2 torture,3 extrajudicial executions,4 and enforced disappearances. The Philippines also announced a number of voluntary commitments around issues such as violence against women and children, and killings of activists and media professionals.5

Since then, the Philippines has taken positive steps in enacting specific laws for the protection of human rights, particularly as regards women’s rights. The government has made good progress with the August 2009 enactment of the Magna Carta of Women, which provides legal protection
from all forms of violence and from discrimination in employment, education and training.6

However, while the Magna Carta of Women is a step forward in promoting women’s rights, its effective implementation is yet to be seen.

Other recommendations do not appear to have been fully implemented, in particular with respect to torture, extra-judicial executions and enforced disappearances. However, some positive developments have taken place, including the introduction of the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 which identifies torture and other ill-treatment as criminal acts punishable in the most severe cases by life imprisonment and also provides for the right to a prompt and impartial investigation. In July 2010, the military leadership ordered all units to appoint a designated human rights officer, tasked with investigating allegations of human rights abuses, and with assisting victims in filing cases against alleged perpetrators. In August 2010, the military published a human rights handbook with funding from the European Union, announcing at the same time that it would provide human rights training to soldiers. In December 2010 the military announced a “paradigm shift” in its counter-insurgency policy, arguing that it was replacing previous strategies which had led to human rights violations, with a new strategy, the Internal Peace and Security Plan, which accords primacy to human rights.7

However, Amnesty International is concerned that state forces continue to be implicated in serious human rights violations such as torture or other ill-treatment, unlawful killings and enforced disappearances. Impunity for such violations persists. Unlawful killings and abduction by non-state actors also continue. Moreover, the Philippines has failed to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, despite having accepted a recommendation to do so.8

Read full report @ AI_2_Philippines104 UPR 13th session

[Video] Video explaining the functioning of the UPR- www.upr-info.org

Video explaining the functioning of the UPR
Uploaded by UPRInfo on May 3, 2010

This video explains what is the Universal Periodic Review, a new human rights mechanism of the United Nations. It was prepared by UPR Info, an NGO dedicated to the promotion and strengthening of the UPR. Please visit our website http://www.upr-info.org for explanations, documents, news, analysis and a database on the UPR.

Read more

Basic facts about the Universal Periodic Review

Basic facts about the UPR


What is the Universal Periodic Review?

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years. The UPR is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which is based on equal treatment for all countries. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights. The UPR also includes a sharing of best human rights practices around the globe. Currently, no other mechanism of this kind exists.

How was the UPR established?

The UPR was established when the Human Rights Council was created on 15 March 2006 by the UN General Assembly in resolution 60/251. This mandated the Council to “undertake a universal periodic review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfilment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States”. On 18 June 2007, one year after its first meeting, members of the new Council agreed to its institution-building package (A/HRC/RES/5/1) providing a road map guiding the future work of the Council. One of the key elements of this package was the new Universal Periodic Review.

What is the goal of the UPR?

The ultimate goal of UPR is the improvement of the human rights situation in every country with significant consequences for people around the globe. The UPR is designed to prompt, support, and expand the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground. To achieve this, the UPR involves assessing States’ human rights records and addressing human rights violations wherever they occur. The UPR also aims to provide technical assistance to States and enhance their capacity to deal effectively with human rights challenges and to share best practices in the field of human rights among States and other stakeholders.

When will States have their human rights records reviewed by the UPR?

All UN Member States will be reviewed every four years – with 48 States reviewed each year. All the 47 members of the Council will be reviewed during their term of membership . On 21 September 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted a calendar detailing the order in which the 192 UN Member States will be considered during the first four-year cycle of the UPR (2008-2011). The reviews will take place during the sessions of the UPR Working Group (see below) which will meet three times a year.

Who conducts the review?

The reviews are conducted by the UPR Working Group which consists of the 47 members of the Council; however any UN Member State can take part in the discussion/dialogue with the reviewed States. Each State review is assisted by groups of three States, known as “troikas”, who serve as rapporteurs. The selection of the troikas for each State review is done through a drawing of lots prior for each Working Group session.

What are the reviews based on?

The documents on which the reviews are based are: 1) information provided by the State under review, which can take the form of a “national report”; 2) information contained in the reports of independent human rights experts and groups, known as the Special Procedures, human rights treaty bodies, and other UN entities; 3) information from other stakeholders including non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions.

How are the reviews conducted?

Reviews take place through an interactive discussion between the State under review and other UN Member States. This takes place during a meeting of the UPR Working Group. During this discussion any UN Member State can pose questions, comments and/or make recommendations to the States under review. The troikas may group issues or questions to be shared with the State under review to ensure that the interactive dialogue takes place in a smooth and orderly manner. The duration of the review will be three hours for each country in the Working Group.

Can non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participate in the UPR process?

Yes. NGOs can submit information which can be added to the “other stakeholders” report which is considered during the review. Information they provide can be referred to by any of the States taking part in the interactive discussion during the review at the Working Group meeting. NGOs can attend the UPR Working Group sessions and can make statements at the regular session of the Human Rights Council when the outcome of the State reviews are considered. OHCHR has released “Technical guidelines for the submission of stakeholders”.

What human rights obligations are addressed?

The UPR will assess the extent to which States respect their human rights obligations set out in: (1) the UN Charter; (2) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; (3) human rights instruments to which the State is party (human rights treaties ratified by the State concerned); (4) voluntary pledges and commitments made by the State (e.g. national human rights policies and/or programmes implemented); and, (5) applicable international humanitarian law.

What is the outcome of the review?

Following the State review by the Working Group a report is prepared by the troika with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. This report, referred to as the “outcome report”, provides a summary of the actual discussion. It therefore consists of the questions, comments and recommendations made by States to the country under review, as well as the responses by the reviewed State.

How is the review adopted?

During the Working Group session half an hour is allocated to adopt each of the “outcome reports” for the States reviewed that session. These take place no sooner than 48 hours after the country review. The reviewed State has the opportunity to make preliminary comments on the recommendations choosing to either accept or reject them. Both accepted and refused recommendations are included in the report. After the report has been adopted, editorial modifications can be made to the report by States on their own statements, within the following two weeks. The report then has to be adopted at a plenary session of the Human Rights Council. During the plenary session, the State under review can reply to questions and issues that were not sufficiently addressed during the Working Group and respond to recommendations that were raised by States during the review. Time is also allotted to member and observer States who may wish to express their opinion on the outcome of the review and for NGOs and other stakeholders to make general comments.

What steps are taken as follow up to the review?

The State has the primary responsibility to implement the recommendations contained in the final outcome. The UPR ensures that all countries are accountable for progress or failure in implementing these recommendations. When it comes time for the second review of a State they must provide information on what they have been doing to implement the recommendations made during the 1st review four year’s earlier. The international community will assist in implementing the recommendations and conclusions regarding capacity-building and technical assistance, in consultation with the country concerned. If necessary, the Council will address cases where States are not cooperating.

What happens if a State is not cooperating with the UPR?

The Human Rights Council will decide on the measures it would need to take in case of persistent non-cooperation by a State with the UPR.

Source: www.ohchr.org

[From the web] Frontline Defenders and HRDP Joint UPR 2nd Cycle Submission – Free Zone

Frontline Defenders and HRDP Joint UPR 2nd Cycle Submission

Source: Free Zone

Submission by: Front Line Defenders and Human Rights Defenders – Pilipinas
Related to: The Philippines UPR Session: 13th Session of UPR, 21 May – 4 June 2012
Submitted:28 November 2011

1. The following submission has been prepared jointly by Front Line Defenders – the International Foundation for the protection of Human Rights Defenders, and the Human Rights Defenders – Pilipinas (HRDP) based on research carried out by these organisations and information received from independent human rights defenders in the Philippines from January 2008 to November 2011.

2. Front Line Defenders (www.frontlinedefenders.org) is an international NGO based in Ireland with special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Front Line Defenders has particular expertise on the issue of security and protection of human rights defenders and works to promote the implementation of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by General Assembly resolution 53/144 of 9 December 1998.

3. HRDP is a membership organisation of individual human rights defenders actively engaging in the promotion, defence, protection and fulfilment of “human rights for all” in the Philippines on various issues including civil, political, economic, social, cultural spheres or in the field of development and peace. It focuses on the protection of human rights defenders.

Read full article @ renatomabunga.wordpress.com

[From the web] Joint Civil Society Report for the 2nd Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – www.philippinehumanrights.org

Joint Civil Society Report for the 2nd Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

This submission was prepared through facilitation of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) with assistance of the Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights) in coordination with sixty-three (63) civil society organizations (see annex 1). Four (4) national workshops and consultations including one with Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) were conducted to gather inputs and recommendations for this report.

pahra-joint-cso-report-to-upr-nov-28-2011

Read full article @ www.philippinehumanrights.org

[People] Engaging governments through the UPR process by Dr. Boyet Mabunga

by Dr. Boyet Mabunga
FREE ZONE

(Note:  This article was first published in HUMAN RIGHTS FORUM, Volume 5, Number 1issue.  Updated and modified to incorporate latest developments and preparation on the Philippine 2nd Cycle Universal Periodic Review slated on the 13th HRC/UPR Working Group session in May to June 2012.)

……………………………………………………………………………………..

“Every day we are reminded of the need for a strengthened United Nations, as we face a growing array of new challenges, including humanitarian crises, human rights violations, armed conflicts and important health and environmental concerns. Seldom has the United Nations been called upon to do so much for so many. I am determined to breathe new life and inject renewed confidence in a strengthened United Nations firmly anchored in the twenty-first century, and which is effective, efficient, coherent and accountable.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

IN 1997, and again in 2002, reforms in the United Nations gained ground in Geneva and New York, respectively. These reforms came in the heels of then-Secretary General Kofi Annan’s challenge to the UN’s “continued significance” in the face of 21st century realities. He called for improvements in how the UN conducts its work, implements its mandate and manages the funds entrusted to it by its Member States in order to bring human rights to all peoples of the world.

These reforms took a significant turn during the General Assembly’s 60th session. The world’s leaders adopted UNGA Resolution 60/251 on the 15th of March 2006, which created the Human Rights Council (HRC). The HR Council is now a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly, taking over the role of the Commission on Human Rights, which was created under article 68 of the UN Charter on Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The HRC was mandated to conduct a Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a mechanism to evaluate each member state’s human rights commitments. The said review shall be a cooperative mechanism, based on an interactive dialog, with the full involvement of the country concerned and with consideration given to its capacity-building needs. The UPR is intended to complement and not duplicate the work of treaty bodies.

At its fifth session on June 18, 2007, the Council responded to this request and adopted, through resolution 5/1, detailed modalities regarding the UPR. Threshed out in particular were the basis of the review, principles and objectives to be followed, the periodicity and order of review of countries, process and modalities, as well as the outcome and the follow-up to the review. The HRC also decided that the review would be conducted in a working group composed of the 47 member States of the Council.

At its sixth session on September 21, 2007, the HRC adopted a calendar in relation to the consideration of 192 Member States of the United Nations for the first four-year cycle of the UPR mechanism. The Philippines was selected among the 16 countries to be reviewed in the 1st UPR session on April 7–18, 2008.

The 1st cycle of the UPR process ended last October 2011 at the 12th session of the Human Rights Council.  The whole process was considered a “historic review of the human rights situation of the 192 United Nations member States”.  Immediately thereafter, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released an updated “Universal Periodic Review: information and guidelines for relevant stakeholders’ written submissions” for the 2nd Cycle’s submission of report and onwards.  It underscores two main changes on the technical guidelines:

The scope of submission to the 2nd cycle must include information on the follow-up and developments to the recommendations for the State-under-review (SUR).

The length of submission is fixed not to extend 2815 words for individual submissions and 5630 words for joint submissions.

As preparation for review, HRC required the concerned governments and other stakeholders to submit human rights reports, which should follow the following guidelines:

Description of the methodology and the broad consultation process followed for the preparation of information;

Developments since the previous review in background of the State under review and framework, particularly normative and institutional framework, for the promotion and protection of human rights: Constitution, legislation, policy measures, national jurisprudence, human rights infrastructure including national human rights institutions and scope of international obligations.

Promotion and protection of human rights on the ground: implementation of international human rights obligations identified in the “basis of review”, national legislation and voluntary commitments, national human rights institutions’ activities, public awareness of human rights, cooperation with human rights mechanisms;

Presentation by the State concerned of the follow-up to the previous review;

Achievements, best practices, challenges and constraints; in relation to the implementation of accepted recommendations and the development of human rights situations in the State;

Key national priorities, initiatives and commitments that the State intends to undertake to overcome challenges and constraints and improve human rights situations on the ground;

Expectations in terms of capacity-building and requests, if any, for technical assistance;

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