Tag Archives: Civil Society

[Statement] Advancing ASEAN Peoples’ Solidarity Toward Sustainable Peace, Development, Justice and Democratisation -ACSC/APF

Statement of the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) 2014
Advancing ASEAN Peoples’ Solidarity Toward Sustainable Peace, Development, Justice and Democratisation

We, more than 3,000 delegates from civil society, peoples’ and grassroots organisations and individuals in Myanmar, the ASEAN region and beyond, jointly discussed a wide range of thematic and systematic issues currently confronting the ASEAN people at the ACSC/APF 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar from 21st to 23rd March 2014. We urge the ASEAN leaders of the 24th ASEAN Summit to consider the following statement and recommendations made with a view to ensuring peace, plurality, justice, collaboration, and sustainable and gender responsive development in the region, particularly to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of the people of ASEAN. The theme for the forum, “Advancing ASEAN Peoples’ Solidarity Toward Sustainable Peace, Development, Justice and Democratisation,” reflects current challenges in the region and calls for strengthening diverse national and regional voices in the decision making processes of ASEAN towards a genuinely people-centred ASEAN.


We reaffirm the fundamental principles of a people-centred ASEAN with sustainable peace and development, democratic and just governance, rule of law (not rule by law), universal human rights and dignity (including women and child rights, etc.), social, cultural, economic and ecological justice, gender equality and gender justice, non-discrimination, inclusivity, reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities, in the best interests of the people of ASEAN, especially of vulnerable and marginalised groups, including but not limited to women, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic and indigenous peoples, LGBTIQ and persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, including intersex persons, all workers including migrants and workers in the informal economy, religious minorities, young people, political prisoners and their families, refugees, internally displaced persons, stateless and landless people, artisanal fisherfolks, sex workers, victims of prostitution and all forms of violence and forced labour, trafficked persons, drug users, and persons living with HIV/AIDS.

We pledge to work cooperatively and engage constructively with ASEAN governments and other regional and international stakeholders in the spirit of partnership, ownership and self-determination for the improvement of the quality of life and dignity of the ASEAN people.

As civil society, peoples’ and grassroots organisations and individuals, we are not only beneficiaries, but also active partners and contributors for social, economic and political transformation and community development. We are therefore creatively responsive to the needs and rights of the peoples of ASEAN. Civil society will continue monitoring laws, policies and actions at the national, regional and global levels, and contribute to the realisation of a genuinely people-centred ASEAN.

We fully support the amplification of the voices of young people, their empowerment and the increase of their capacity to ensure that ASEAN is youth-driven as well as people-centred.

We are determined to contribute to all ASEAN processes including and in particular the upcoming review of the ASEAN Charter and Community Blueprints, the Terms of Reference of ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), the ASEAN Commission on Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and other global initiatives and processes that affect the lives of people in ASEAN.

ACSC/APF 2014 in the Context of Myanmar’s Transition

This year, we have the privilege of being hosted in Myanmar, a country in transition. Despite its progress, Myanmar still must overcome its overdue deficit in meeting the needs of the people. As Myanmar engages in its peace process to end more than 60 years of civil war, we wish to emphasise that sustainable peace cannot be achieved without truth, transparency, accountability, social justice and trust. Truth requires an honest discussion of the events of the war, transparency requires freely available information in language that people understand regarding investment and development plans in ethnic areas, and trust requires the immediate cessation of all military pressure and operations. Given the remaining climate of distrust and fear, the government must take significant care to implement all upcoming projects, such as the census-taking process, within an atmosphere of transparency and responsiveness to the peoples’ concerns. For peace-building efforts, all peoples must be included in the process, including women. Even with the reform process, women still face the risk of sexual violence, especially in areas affected by conflict.

The furthering of democratisation in Myanmar will require full, transparent, and participatory reform to reinstate all fundamental rights and freedoms. We call for the repeal or amendment of all laws that do not confirm with international human rights standards and legal principles, including the reform of the 2008 Constitution, the building of a genuine federal state and the decentralisation of power.

The poor and marginalised are deprived of their rights through land grabbing by private and military actors. Special Economic Zones in the country have been oriented around the pursuit of profit, and not the wellbeing of the people. Workers continue to struggle for their right to decent work. We call for economic policies that uphold the principle of ‘do no harm,’ and which protect the rights and dignity of the affected people.

Similarly, this government must work to revise the decades-long deterioration of the education system, which has deprived the youth of their foundation to become the future leaders of this country.


Our region faces serious challenges to peace and security involving sovereignty, internal conflicts arising from assertions of right to self-determination and ethnic struggles for autonomy, disputes over cross-border territorial and maritime issues, political unrest, poverty, human trafficking, forced migration, competition for access to and control of natural resources, human insecurity and a high level of violence. These are glaring manifestations of ASEAN’s failure and inability to bring about sustainable peace, justice and development in the region.

We contest ASEAN’s claim of its success to maintain peace and security in this region. The conflict and post conflict situation in ASEAN have impacted human security, particularly of vulnerable and marginalised groups.

Conflicts in the ASEAN region have occurred due to different reasons. In many cases the roots of conflict stem from the unjust treatment, unjust resource allocation and denial of rights of the people, which are obstacles for ASEAN and its peoples to achieve sustainable peace and human security in the region. Recognising the impacts of intra- and inter-state conflict on the peace and stability within the entire ASEAN region, and the lack of any existing redress mechanism, it is recommended that a Disputes and Conflict Prevention Settlement Mechanism is established as a regional mechanism for preventive and emergency response.

It is important for government, non-state actors and all parties involved in conflict to recognise the local and indigenous initiatives in peacebuilding and reconstruction processes. The roles of affected women and young people are also often overlooked despite the disproportionate impact on their lives. Governments engaging in peace processes must show their sincerity to put the interest of the people as the priority in the situations of conflict. In some cases, international communities, financial institutions and the private sectors investing in conflict areas exacerbate on-going conflict.


• Include a chapter on Regional Dispute Prevention and Settlement Mechanism in the future review of ASEAN Charter.

• Develop a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security according to principles enshrined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, CEDAW and General Recommendation 30.

• Demonstrate commitment to comprehensive security as stated in the ASEAN Political-Security Blueprint by cutting military spending, and ensuring accountable and transparent utilisation of state budgets for community development, providing an enabling environment for women’s meaningful participation and representation in decision-making processes at all levels, including support for women’s leadership, and community education to counter all forms of gender-based discrimination and violence.

• Integrate peace education programs with gender and human rights perspectives both in formal and non-formal education systems at all levels as well as supporting peace initiative activities of young people and civil society.

• Ensure the rights of freedom of expression and assembly and freedom of media to promote peace through mainstreaming peace in traditional and digital media.

Human Rights and Justice

Despite having its own human rights mechanism, countries within ASEAN continue to face a multitude of challenges relating to protection of human rights and access to justice for all, especially for vulnerable and marginalised communities.

Women, children, young people, people with disabilities and LGBTIQ and persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, including intersex persons, continue to be neglected by ASEAN Member States in shaping its future. It is important to recognise that violence against women inhibits both the fulfilment of women’s rights and participation in all decision-making and community building processes. Despite all states within ASEAN having ratified CEDAW and other relevant international treaties and declarations, ASEAN has failed to establish effective, rights-based and indicator-based monitoring mechanisms to address violence against women. Similarly, significant gaps exist in meeting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all, particularly women and other vulnerable and marginalised groups. Furthermore, lack of comprehensive sexuality education and youth friendly services, in addition to existent gender inequality, stigma and discrimination, create barriers to young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights to information and services. Persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and expression continue to face criminalisation denying them of enjoyment of basic rights, freedoms and benefits of development guaranteed to all persons within ASEAN.

Migration is a reality within the region and yet ASEAN does not have adequate protection for all migrants especially forced migrants and stateless persons. Children are particularly vulnerable to the negative effect of migration and many Children on the Move (COM) are not recognised by existing laws or law enforcers and therefore are denied access to basic services and exposed to heightened risk of economic or sexual exploitation, abuse or neglect. Most importantly while workers’ wages in most ASEAN countries fall far below living wages, which fail to cover basic living expenses, migrant workers experience additional discrimination in terms of denial and restrictions on basic rights to freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, access to quality education and health services, and legal remedies.

The above situations fail to be addressed by AICHR and ACWC because of a lack of power as human rights bodies. One of the causes of weakness of the bodies stems from the weak Terms of Reference (TOR) of AICHR. Due to be reviewed in 2014, improvement to AICHR’s TOR can contribute to the strengthening of its mandate, particularly that of human rights protections. Key problems in the TOR are the existing principles of consensus, non-interference and the lack of independence of the Commission, which must be addressed by ASEAN Member States. In the review of the TOR, it is important to ensure the inclusive and meaningful participation of other human rights institutions, such as ACWC and national human rights institutions, as well as civil society.


• Establish indicators that recognise the diversities of women to ensure holistic monitoring of progress in addressing violence against women. ASEAN governments should utilise indicator-based methods and establish partnerships with civil society in monitoring progress on implementation of commitments and obligations in eliminating violence against women, and involvement of women in the process of peacebuilding in resolving conflicts.

• Demonstrate stronger political commitment and provide sustained investments to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights status of women, young people and other vulnerable and marginalised groups. These include the provision of comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services.

• Immediately repeal laws and regulations that directly and indirectly criminalise LGBTIQ and persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, including intersex persons, and harmonise national laws and regional human rights instruments, policies and practices with the United Nations human rights treaties and the Yogyakarta Principles through consultation with and active engagement of LGBTIQ and persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, including intersex persons.

• Stop the immigration detention of children, forced migrants and stateless persons, and implement alternatives to detention for these populations. Use immigration detention only as a measure of last resort for other forced migration populations. The rights of Children on the Move, including those who are affected by disasters and natural calamities, should be promoted and protected without discrimination by providing access to free compulsory basic education and quality health services, legal protection, provision of alternative care, and protection from all forms of abuses and exploitation.

• Guarantee the right of all workers including migrant workers to non-discrimination, entitlement to the equal social and labour rights regardless of their legal status, and access to justice through free legal aid and rights education. We call upon the ASEAN Member States to immediately stop all forms of oppression against workers who exercise their right to freedom of expression and assembly and association, including their right to strike. Additionally, we call upon the ASEAN Member States to ensure minimum wages are living wages and decent work for all workers in ASEAN Countries.

• Recognise sex workers as equal rights bearers for their economic contribution and share in the opportunities and benefits that tourism brings to ASEAN, including but not limited to equal protection under national labour law and freedom from discrimination.


Our region also faces the challenge of [rapid increase in older population due to low fertility rates and improved longevity] and exacerbated social, economic and gender inequalities, due to the impact of globalisation and the Free Trade Agreement. Current unsustainable market or corporate driven economic policies are resulting in negative impacts including the diminution of our natural resources, the rise of greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change, deepening poverty and increased hunger, exacerbated vulnerability for workers both within countries and across borders, lack of social protection and basic services especially among vulnerable and marginalised groups and widespread land grabbing which devastates communities and robs people of their livelihoods, cultural heritage and collective rights, especially those of indigenous peoples. Large-scale investment and development projects, including those in ethnic or indigenous areas, have triggered massive forced displacement and enabled human rights abuses. Civil Society leaders, like Sombath Somphone, who highlight these negative impacts and promoted sustainable participatory development, have been increasingly targeted. We are deeply concerned that the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community will only worsen the situation if it continues with these harmful development policies.

Current development trends in ASEAN are resulting in serious transboundary problems caused by mega-hydropower dams, extractive industries, expansion of large-scale monoculture plantations, climate change, unaccountable corporate investment, and government and military involvement in business. These are having negative impacts on communities and their livelihoods, land, natural resources, water and food sovereignty and security, identity, health and environment, leading to increased conflicts and instability in the region.

The governments of ASEAN have prioritised economic development over a just, equitable and sustainable development model that truly places the people and their wellbeing at the centre. Social protection and basic services are not prioritised and remain limited, non-inclusive and inadequate to ensure peoples’ dignity. The local communities affected by investment and development projects are not provided sufficient relevant information about these projects, are not meaningfully consulted or asked for their consent, and are not able to participate in decision-making processes.

While most ASEAN states have fairly robust legal frameworks governing the core areas of land, natural resources, labour and the environment, enforcement of these laws and regulations remains a challenge. Corruption and lack of transparency and accountability exacerbate negative impacts of development projects and investment on local communities. Militarisation of resource rich areas results in intensified repression in terms of enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, land grabbing and displacement of communities.


• Adopt measures to counter the adverse impacts of climate change and globalisation, including an increased focus on education, health, social protection for all, poverty-reduction, food sovereignty and security, pro-people economic institutions, effective regulations and mechanisms to hold governments and companies to account, and to safeguard sustainable development and human rights.

• Establish an Environmental Pillar in ASEAN which includes an independent monitoring mechanism, a regional framework on the transboundary utilisation and sharing of natural resources, protect all peoples’ rights including indigenous peoples’ rights and resolve cross border impacts, stop all destructive hydropower dams and promote sustainable renewable energy alternatives.

• Establish an ASEAN safeguard policy to ensure accountability, transparency and the meaningful participation of all stakeholders, including local communities and indigenous peoples, civil society organisations, and vulnerable and marginalised groups in the design, implementation and monitoring of national and regional investment and development projects and policies in order to protect the rights and wellbeing of all peoples in ASEAN.

• Abide by and ensure compliance of businesses with international best practices including but not limited to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and ISO 26000 to respect the rights of all affected individuals and communities, improve peoples’ living conditions, which involves consultin

All people, especially vulnerable and marginalised groups, are negatively impacted by ASEAN integration and various domestic challenges and threats relating to democratisation. Such challenges include:

1. Severe restrictions of fundamental freedoms, both online and offline, such as freedom of assembly, association, expression, information and religion;

2. A lack of protection from violence, arrest, imprisonment, and harassment, including the unlawful imprisonment of human rights defenders, activists and union representatives;

3. Impunity and a lack of judicial redress in the absence of the rule of law;

4. A lack of democratic participation, consultation and self-governance;

5. Severe restrictions on land and labour rights as a result of development projects and businesses’ refusal to abide by international standards on business and human rights; and

6. Pervasive corruption and a lack of transparency at all levels of government.

However, civil society across the ASEAN region has achieved many positive results in the face of such challenges. Civil society has successfully employed various advocacy strategies, including solidarity and collaboration between groups, establishing regional networks, information sharing, raising awareness and educating people about their human rights, consultations at local and national levels, engaging in non-violent and legitimate protests, directly lobbying and intervening with businesses, directly engaging with ASEAN Member States, and monitoring human rights abuses and other actions by ASEAN Member States.

Despite these positive efforts by civil society, governments still need to show good will and honour their commitments under the ASEAN Charter and address the issue of democratisation in the ASEAN region.


• End impunity by fully investigating all acts of violence and disappearances, and provide a safe space, both online and offline, and an enabling environment for human rights defenders, journalists, community activists and leaders, and other civil society actors to meaningfully engage with authorities and to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of physical or judicial harassment, arrest, imprisonment, killing or other violence, or restrictions on their fundamental freedoms; and immediate release all political prisoners, human rights defenders, community leaders, union leaders and development workers detained by ASEAN Member States.

• Reform the security sector in all ASEAN governments, with the involvement of civil society in monitoring the reforms, using human rights and women’s rights perspectives, in collaboration with national parliaments to legislate policies consistent with democratisation.

• Establish robust legal frameworks that are in line with international human rights standards and best practices, ratify and implement applicable international instruments, amend or repeal repressive laws, and ensure that all laws and regulations are properly enforced by reformed judiciaries which are independent, competent and non-corrupt, including at the ASEAN level.

• Ensure that all people – especially vulnerable and marginalised groups – are legally recognised, able to enjoy their civil and political rights free from discrimination and prejudice, entitled to self-governance, empowered through access to information and education to participate in and be consulted about important decisions affecting their lives and livelihoods, and enjoy respect, recognition and protection of their freedom, security, dignity, identity and human rights.

General Recommendations and Conclusion

We, the ACSC/APF 2014, mandate the Steering Committee to formulate a flexible and inclusive mechanism to strengthen the ACSC/APF process and ensure continued linkage between the ACSC/APF and ASEAN.

We call on all ASEAN governments to:

• Commit to achieving justice, equality, inclusion and the elimination of all forms of violence so as to bring about sustainable peace and security. This success can only be achieved through the full participation of grassroots peoples and civil society organisations.

• Recognise the diversity of ASEAN people and develop mechanisms for protection of all human rights irrespective of religion, sex, gender, disability, LGBTIQ and persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, including intersex persons, ethnicity, race, occupation, political ideology and citizenship. Such mechanisms should be consistent with international law and standards.

• Ensure the independence of the AICHR members as opposed to the current structure of the mechanism as an inter-governmental body. Ensure inclusion of additional human rights protection mandates in the TOR (including provisions that establish the review of the human rights record of ASEAN Member States; enable AICHR to conduct country/on-site visits; and allow AICHR to receive, investigate and address complaints on human rights issues and violations); change/modify the principles of consensus rule and non-interference in AICHR that have resulted in its ineffectiveness. Enable AICHR to establish independent experts (Special Procedures, including Special Rapporteurs), similar to the Special Procedures mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council and other regional mechanisms. These experts shall be independent and not be bound by the consensus rule so that they can effectively implement actual human rights protection work.

• The reviewed TOR must allow for decisions to be reached by a majority in situations where decisions cannot be reached by consensus, especially in addressing and preventing serious human rights violations. Further, the AICHR TOR review should head towards effective cooperation among the different human rights mechanisms and across the different pillars and sectoral bodies of ASEAN to ensure stronger human rights protection in the region.

• Ensure that consultations for the review of ASEAN Blueprints in 2015 are conducted with civil society, peoples’ and grassroots organizations and individuals, and especially vulnerable and marginalised groups, to mitigate any negative impacts on them.

• ASEAN Member States should sign and ratify important international conventions and their Optional Protocols in recognition of the universal, inherent, inalienable and inter-related human rights of all ASEAN people, and their diverse and multiple identities.

• ASEAN Human Rights Institutions including AICHR, ACWC, and ACMW are urged to coordinate their efforts and work together for the promotion and protection of human rights for all.

We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Myanmar civil society and people for hosting the conference, and to the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for its support and cooperation towards ensuring the success of the ACSC/APF 2014.

Source: aseanpeople.org

Human Rights in ASEAN – Home

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[Statement] Paradigm shift for National Survival – now or never for the Philippines -FDC/PMCJ

Paradigm shift for National Survival 
– now or never for the Philippines

( Joint Statement of the Freedom from Debt Coalition ( FDC ) and the Philippine Movement for Climate Change ( PMCJ ) to the ADB Consultation with Civil Society on Strategy 2020 Midterm Review ,
December 9, 2013, at the ADB Building, Ortigas Business District )

The Asian Development Bank’s Strategy 2020 is a business-as-usual strategy for the Philippines. A Midterm Review that will only adjust in pace, scale and targets this Strategy will not mean anything significant in terms of wiping out poverty and unemployment, making the Philippines a prosperous contributor to regional development and enabling it to survive the onslaughts of climate change. With critical challenges coming from the global and regional scene and extreme ones from nature, the outcome may even be worse.


Inclusive growth without altering the high inequality in control and management of land, capital, technology and knowledge resources may only result at best in lessening the vast number of the unemployed and underemployed, reducing the scale of school dropouts at the basic levels and increasing the very limited number of young people who will get tertiary education, and improving the chances of the bottom poor, the lowest layers of the poor population to climb upward to join the rest of the poor.

This is the bitter lesson of the Philippine development experience of the past several decades. Having pursued a growth strategy that is anchored on the private sector- privatization, external markets and liberalizing its markets, and debts- the same features of ADB’s Strategy 2020, the Philippines continues to suffer one lost decade after another since the eighties of the previous century with jobless growth, high social and gender inequality, resilient poverty and the appearance of a basement poor, disappearance of many industries and agricultural stagnation, forced migration of the skilled and enterprising, and environmental degradation that worsens with climate change. The Philippines remains an economic laggard in the region with its agriculture and industry highly unprepared for the coming ASEAN regional integration in 2015.

After the Yolanda ( Haiyan ) devastation, the representatives of developing countries and many scientists and experts in the recently concluded 19thConference of Parties Meeting in Warsaw, Poland came out stronger than before in their resolve to push for a new order of the day – to radically veer away from the business as usual track and move towards a more ambitious and radical actions on emissions, adaptation, loss and damage, climate finance and technology transfer. More lives will be lost if the world does not act now.For the Philippines, at stake is national survival.

The ADB has continued its dirty energy funding history until today and will still pursue it under its new strategy. Even with the much publicized Clean Energy Program of the ADB, the Bank will still continue funding fossil fuel projects, which are heavy on coal and gas. In the Philippines alone, the ADB funded a total of 11 coal plants, most of which have been tested as emitting off the charts levels of mercury, arsenic and lead emissions that endanger the host communities and environments, aside from their millions of tons of carbon dioxide contributions.

The negative impacts of the recent ADB co-financed project with the KEXIM Bank, despite claims of using clean coal technology, otherwise known as circulating fluidized bed combustion technology he negative impacts are there for people to see and experience. The coal plant emits four times coal ashes compared to conventional coal plants. Also, according to official local health records, incidents of upper respiratory diseases and cancer have risen for the past two years since the inception of the coal plant.

Nothing less than a PARADIGM SHIFT in development is what the Philippines needs. A PARADIGM SHIFT now, today, not next week, not next year, let alone the next few years.

The Philippines must put disaster preparation and rehabilitation squarely and solidly within the context of adaptation and mitigation to overcome climate change. This should mean reshaping and upgrading our human settlements to make them defensible to assaults of floods, storm surges and landslides. This should mean a shift to sustainable farming and rural production systems to make agriculture and rural industry resilient to drought, typhoons, soil erosion, mineral depletion and chemical damage and river and water pollution. This should mean a shift to renewable energy to supply power to our industry, agriculture and services and to our households. This should mean redesigning and retooling our industries to make them produce more and efficiently but with reduced carbon emissions and without pollutants to our water systems.

The Philippines will need huge finances and resources here. Not from loans as the ADB and the World Bank have been quick to commit to our government. Unconditional grants, maybe, but not loans that will commit even the children and the young people whose families have lost everything, many even their parents and siblings along with with a heavily debt- burdened nation to pay in the next years to come. Our faith-based movements call this IMMORAL DEBTS.

Why loans when the Philippines has huge money that is owed itin the first place.That the Pilippinesmust claim apart from the money and resources that it can
generate on its own by reordering its economy and public finance. The Philippines must press harder along with the global climate justice movements and allied countries and governments for reparations from the super-rich capitalist countries which for centuries have damaged most the earth’s climate and natural resources. We must intensify our pressures on these governments, especially the US government, to comply with the United Nations principles and protocols on “common but differentiated responsibility“ for fighting climate change. JUSTICE DEMANDS DEBT CANCELLATION . CLIMATE JUSTICE CALLS FOR CLIMATE REPARATIONS .

The Philippines can also help raise the huge finances by abolishing all pork barrel – congressional, presidential and local, and rechanneling them to the pressing priorities of our times, including climate resiliency. This has to go side by side with instituting all measures to make the public finance system invulnerable as much as possible to corruption and waste. All those who stole public money must be held accountable and brought to justice and their their ill-gotten wealth recovered.

Governance for national survival needs the total mobilization and support of all our people. It cannot be done without redressing the poverty and the inequality that bedevil the lives of the great majority. A program for rebuilding our national economy to revive our industry and agriculture , make them serve along with services domestic needs first, correct inequalities, attain sustainability and cope up with climate change is central to national survival.

For the Philippines, this Paradigm shift is now or never.

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[Resources] New Practical Guide for civil society on follow up on human rights recommendations-OHCHR

New Practical Guide for civil society on follow up on human rights recommendations
Launch in Geneva on 29 November 2013

How to ff up UN recom

The Guide describes methods and activities that civil society actors can use to promote the implementation of human rights recommendations as well as existing follow-up procedures and practices of UN human rights mechanisms and how civil society can participate.

Complemented by real experiences contributed by civil society actors and OHCHR field presences, the Guide offers a menu of options from which civil society actors can select on the basis of their own priorities and capacity.

The Guide is being translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. We will share translations once available in the coming weeks.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights will launch the Guide in an event in Geneva. The launch will take place on Friday 29 Novemberin Palais des Nations, room XXIII, Geneva.

Download guide from www.ohchr.org

Best regards,

Civil Society Section
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Tel. +41 (0) 22 – 917 – 9656

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Iboto ang iyong #HRPinduterosChoice para sa HR WEBSITES.

Iboto ang iyong #HRPinduterosChoice para sa HR WEBSITES.

HR WEBSITE LOGOAng botohan ay magsisimula ngayon hanggang sa 11:59PM ng Nov 15, 2013.


  • pindutin ang inyong napupusuan sa poll button sa ibaba ng post na ito
  • i-LIKE din ang thumbnail/s ng iyong mga ibinoboto sa HRonlinePH facebook, i-share at ikampanya.
  • Most number of the combined likes sa FB at sa poll buttons ang magiging 3rd HR Pinduteros Choice na kikilalanin sa 2013 HR week celebration.

Makiisa sa pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon hinggil sa karapatang pantao. Pindot na!

WHAT IS 3RD HR PINDUTEROS CHOICE AWARDS? https://hronlineph.com/2013/10/01/3rd-human-rights-pinduteros-choice-awards/



1. http://clrdc.wordpress.com



is a non-stock, non-profit legal resource human rights organization for children committed to advancing children’s rights and welfare through the provision of its services based on human rights developmental framework approach and methodologies.

2. http://philrights.org



PhilRights envisions a just, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Philippines founded on a culture of human rights and gender equity. It envisions a society where each individual is able to fully realize one’s potential as a human person, to participate effectively in the economic, political and cultural life, and to share equitably in the benefits of economic progress.

3. http://phildeafres.org



To serve as a nationwide center for the Filipino Deaf community, and its individual and collective stakeholders, in the various needs, challenges and issues that concern it, by:

Encouraging, conducting and commissioning RESEARCH, particularly on sign language linguistics and interpreting, employment and livelihood, education, health and counseling, policy-making and legislation, media and technology, and Deaf culture and the arts;

Gathering and providing INFORMATION through the development of materials, and their publication and dissemination by print or electronic means; and

serving as a NETWORKING support for caregivers of the Deaf, advocates for the community, and Deaf organizations.

4. http://ctuhr.org



CTUHR is committed to the cause of advancing genuine, democratic, nationalist and militant trade unionism. It is against all forms of deception and coercion that seeks to derail this cause. The Center believes that repression can and has taken on different and subtle forms like labour legislations, and flexible employment schemes, amongst others and therefore devotes herself to exposing these devious moves.

5. http://find.org.ph



FIND untiringly searches for the disappeared and fights for justice through participative empowerment of its members. It upholds and actively works for the protection of human rights, particularly the protection of persons from enforced or involuntary disappearance, and links arms with local and international groups working for justice and peace in the spirit of respect, trust and mutual cooperation.

6. http://amnesty.org.ph



is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected for everyone.

7. http://philippinehumanrights.org



PAHRA envisions a just, democratic, and peaceful Philippines founded on human rights culture. It envisions a society where there is gender equity, recognition of multiculturalism, environmental protection, and sustainable development. As such, all individuals and peoples are able to fully realize their potentials, participate and contribute in the economic, political, social and cultural life of society, and share equitably in the benefits of economic progress.

8. http://alyansatigilmina.net



The Alyansa Tigil Mina was born out of the collective concern of Non-Government Organizations, People’s Organizations and other Civil Society Groups against the impending threat of the revitalization of the mining industry in the Philippines. In mid-2004, NGOs/ POs, decided to disengage from a series of consultations convened by the DENR regarding the revitalization of the mining industry.

9. http://humanrightsdefenderspilipinas.wordpress.com



HRDP was born-out from the series of campaigns of civil society organizations against the rising phenomenon of extra-judicial killings of human rights workers and activists in Philippines in 2006. This was highlighted with the official visit of the UN Special Rapporteur onSummary Execution Prof. Phillip Alston in March 2007; and, its subsequent report and recommendations on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council.

10. http://balayph.net



The word balay, in many dialects in the Philippines, means a house, a shelter or a home. The name itself depicts protection, safety, and nurturance of well-being. In the course of the organization’s existence, the word balay have also signified a space where the people can work towards empowerment and development.

[Press Release] Civil Society Organisations demand meaningful engagement with ASEAN human rights bodies

Civil Society Organisations demand meaningful engagement with ASEAN human rights bodies

Civil Society from a number of ASEAN countries have just convened at the 6th Regional Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights in Jakarta from 1-2 October 2013. Over 80 participants from more than 59 organizations, both within and outside the ASEAN region gathered to discuss a range of issues, including strategies for bringing about meaningful engagement with ASEAN human rights mechanisms. The Consultation was co-organized by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a regional human rights organization, the Commission of the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), and a network of ASEAN civil society – SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights.

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The Consultation was encouraged by the efforts of individual members of AICHR to turn it into an independent body actively protecting human rights and applying international human rights standards, but regretted that AICHR as a whole has remained closed to dialogue and has achieved little, not least because it is paralysed by political interests and the veto powers that every member state has through decision-making by consensus only. In comparison, the ACWC is much more open to dialogue and cooperation with civil society.

Evelyn Balais Serrano, the Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA, explained: “We hope that the Regional Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights continues to be used as a platform for dialogue, cooperation and coordination for ASEAN civil society’s regional human rights work and for engagement with AICHR and ACWC.”

The two main issues discussed during the Consultation were the review of the AICHR Terms of Reference (TOR) which should commence in 2014; and the issue of business and human rights in ASEAN.

The current AICHR TOR does not provide a detailed protection mandate protection that would explicitly enable it to respond to human rights violations and issues in the ASEAN region. Speakers and participants of the Regional Consultation discussed the need for the AICHR to receive a stronger mandate when the TOR is reviewed. However, the existing TOR has already provided a range of opportunities for protection work. Dr Yuval Ginbar, a Legal Adviser for Amnesty International stated: “So far during their first term, both the AICHR (2009-2012) and ACWC (2010-2013) have adopted a narrow interpretation of their protection mandates. the AICHR has not seized these opportunities to protect people from human rights violations. Even pending the revision, the AICHR should broaden its understanding of its protection mandate, as well as fully implement its current mandate including in fields such as encouraging ratification of human rights treaties and obtaining information on human rights from Member States”.

A Philippines participant, Ms Sunshine Serrano of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines said: “As part of our commitment to ensure promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN regional, we (civil society) want to continue our efforts to engage with the AICHR, even when currently most of the communications with them is a one-way traffic.”

Having two bodies working on human right in ASEAN, civil society views the importance for the AICHR and the ACWC to work together and engage with civil society. Muhammad Jailani of the Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia) commented: “The AICHR and the ACWC, have to develop open discussion with civil society and the people of ASEAN as a whole, including children.”

The Consultation also identified the lack of support from member states of ASEAN to the AICHR and the ACWC. Joseph Wah from Burma Partnership emphasised: “In order to be able to work effectively, governments of ASEAN must provide the AICHR and the ACWC with sufficient human and financial resource, and also independent secretariats”.

The 6th Regional Consultation on ASEAN and Human Rights concluded that the review of the TOR should be carried out in a transparent way, with participation of civil society. Chalida Tajaroensuk, the co-convenor of SAPA TFAHR hope that the review of the TOR will ensure engagement with civil society. “Engagement means not only regulations providing for meetings with civil society but a meaningful engagement, where the collective voice of civil society is considered when the AICHR does its work”

Evelyn Balais Serrano also reiterated: “We welcome the AICHR’s effort to finalize the Guidelines on Relations with Civil Society Organizations and call on it to ensure that the Guidelines facilitate meaningful and mutually beneficial engagement while respecting the independence of CSOs”

Jakarta, 2 October 2013

For further information please contact:

Evelyn Balais-Serrano (Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA; evelyn@forum-asia.org )
Chalida Tajaroensuk (Executive Director of People’s Empowerment Foundation – Thailand; chalida.empowerment@gmail.com
Haris Azhar (Coordinator of KontraS; harisazhar@kontras.org )
Atnike Nova Sigiro (Program Manager ASEAN Advocacy of FORUM-ASIA; atnike@forum-asia.org )

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[Urgent Appeal] Violent Dispersal of Protest Action of Civil Society Organizations during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III -TFDP


July 24, 2013

(PHILIPPINES) Violent Dispersal of Protest Action of Civil Society Organizations during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III

Issues: Violent Dispersal; Harassment and Intimidation; Arbitrary Arrest and Detention; Human Rights Defenders; Freedom of Expression and Right to Organize; Physical Injuries; Command Responsibility

TFDP logo small


Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) is forwarding to you an appeal regarding the violent dispersal of demonstrators perpetrated by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at the Southbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines during the protest against the SONA of President Aquino on July 22, 2013 and is seeking your help to end violations against the Freedom of Assembly.

Around twenty (20) persons were hurt during the dispersal and one (1) person was arbitrarily arrested during the incident.

If you wish to make any inquiries, please contact the Research, Documentation and Information Program of TFDP at # 45 St. Mary Street, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109 or call +632 4378054 or email tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com.



Around 20 demonstrators were hurt and 1 person arbitrarily arrested in a violent dispersal during a protest action in Commonwealth Avenue Quezon Cityon July 22, 2013 at around 3 PM. The protest was in line with the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III.

The group of around 2,000 protesters led by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) were shifting towards the southbound lane of the avenue when around 250 members of the PNP immediately blocked them and instructed them to leave.

Leaders of FDC tried to initiate a dialogue and negotiate with the police to allow them to continue their protests. However, Police Ground Commander Senior Superintendent Norberto Mabagay allegedly instructed the members of the PNP to push the demonstrators back to the northbound lane of the avenue. They also started grabbing the streamers and flags of the protesters.

Further violence erupted when members of the PNP cornered and attempted to pull out FDC leaders from the group. Some protesters at the frontline fell to the ground as the PNP continued pushing them. After a while, some of the PNP started shoving their truncheons and wooden sticks against the protesters.

Some of the demonstrators claimed that they were punched and kicked by members of the PNP who were wearing combat boots. They also noted that many of the PNP were not wearing their name tags.

The scuffle stopped when the demonstrators pleaded to the police to stop since there were already a number of persons injured. Among the casualties were Rasti Delizo, Aaron Pedrosa, Sammy Gamboa, Rapha-el Olegario and Alex Castro, who all obtained bruises and abrasions during the dispersal.

The police also claimed that they were also hurt during the dispersal and arrested Vincent Coronacion, 19 year old son of a member of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) who came to the rally to accompany his mother. The police alleged that Vincent threw the rock that hit one of the police and were recommending that he be charged with multiple cases; resistance and disobedience upon an agent of a Person in Authority, Malicious Mischief, Direct Assault, Physical Injuries and Violation of BP 880. He was only released on July 23, 2013.




a) Investigate officers and members of the PNP deployed in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City during the SONA for their violent dispersal and if they are found to have committed grave abuse of authority for their excessive use of force against the Civil Society demonstrators and be held accountable for their actions.

b) Assurance from the PNP will use Maximum tolerance during protest activities and no similar violent action will be taken against protesters.

c) Guarantee the means for demonstrators to express and act freely in conformity with the bill of rights and freedoms as stated in the Philippine Constitution;

d) Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.


Dear _________________,

RE: Violent Dispersal of Civil Society Group

I am writing you to draw your attention regarding the violent dispersal of a protest rally during the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III.

I have learned that around 250 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) tried to disperse 2,000 demonstrators affiliated with the Freedom from Debt Coalition FDC) by using excessive means that elicited violence, that caused the injury of around 20 protesters.

It was also brought to my attention that after the incident, a young man from the group, Vincent Coronacion was arbitrarily arrested by the Police and recommended to be charged with multiple cases and was only freed a day after his arrest.

I am asking the concerned government agencies to investigate the actions taken by the PNP, as well as appropriate sanctions to be given if they have used excessive force.

I am also asking for the assurance of the concerned government agencies that no such repeat of this violence be done to protesters.

Finally, in view of the above mentioned information, I urge you to act quickly to correct this situation and ask that you inform us of the outcome of your investigation.

Respectfully yours,


1. Mr. Benigno Simeon Aquino III


Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace

JP Laurel Street, San Miguel

Manila 1005


Fax: +63 2 7361010

Tel: +63 2 7356201/5641451 to 80

Email: corres@op.gov.ph/opnet@ops.gov.ph


2. Mr. Mar Roxas


Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)

A. Francisco Gold Condominium II

EDSA cor. Mapagmahal St., Diliman

Quezon City

Philippines 1100

Fax: +63 2 9250332

Tel: +63 2 9250330/9250331

Email: mar@marroxas.com/maia@marroxas.com/mbunico@dilg.gov.ph


3. Mr Herber Bautista

Mayor, Quezon City

3rd Floor, High-Rise Building

Elliptical Road, Brgy. Central


Quezon City

Philippines 1100

Fax: +632 9216750

Tel: + 632 9884242 local 8300 to 8307/ 9243592

Email: mayor@quezoncity.gov.ph/ http://www.quezoncity,gov.ph


4. Police Director Alan LM. Purisima


Philippine National Police

Camp General Rafael Crame

Quezon City


Fax: + 632 7248763/7230401

Tel: + 63 2 7264361/4366/8763

Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph


5. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

SAAC Bldg. Commonwealth Avenue

U.P. Complex, Diliman

Quezon City


Tel: +632 9285655/9266188

Fax: +632 9290102

Email: rosales.chr@gmail.com


Kindly inform or copy-furnish tfdp.urgentappeals@gmail.com of urgent appeals sent to above government officials for monitoring purpose. Thanking you in advance for your time on this important and urgent matter.

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.

[Resources] STILL WINDOW-DRESSING A Performance Report on the Third Year of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) 2011-2012 -Forum Asia

STILL WINDOW-DRESSING A Performance Report on the Third Year of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) 2011-2012

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The year under review, 2012, saw AICHR take limited steps in the direction of transparency and consultation with civil society. Some of these steps addressed criticism and reflect recommendations that our previous reports had highlighted:

We called for AICHR to launch an official website to share developments in its work with the public – such a website was indeed launched in October;

We encouraged AICHR to conduct more national and regional consultation meetings with civil society – 2012 saw more consultations at the national level, focusing largely on the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD), and which varied widely, from extensive, inclusive consultations in a very small number of member states, through limited consultations in others to no consultations at all in several states. On the regional level AICHR held, for the first time, two official consultations with civil society, both focusing on the AHRD;

We criticised AICHR for its failure to announce publicly the change of a national representative – in 2012 AICHR started providing information on the changing of national representatives in its press statements.

Read full article @www.forum-asia.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.

10 PartyOnmyList

10 PartyOnmyList

PARTYonmyLIST teaser small6 copy

Late na, pero ika nga “it’s better late than never.” Here is the simplified version of HRonlinePH.com’s 10 PartyonmyList. Human rights ang issues and truly for the marginalized sectors of our society which voters can or may consider in voting for the #RightVote Partylist.

Uunahin na po natin ang mga nag-endorso ng 10Pt Human Rights Agenda on Mining na ikinakampanya ng iba’t-ibang miyembro ng Civil Society including HRonlinePH.com.

526208_10151262070491556_1782468121_n#117 AKBAYAN
Panalo ang Mamamayan

559973_483692868364203_4498432_n#56 ANAK MINDANAO
Atin ito! Mindanaoan!

sanlakas#14 SANLAKAS
Tungo sa hayahay na bukas

umalab ka nominees#57 UMALAB KA
Ang apoy sa bawat Pinoy
Urban Poor

Eto pa ang ibang PartyOnMyList

943543_183052815184264_2009317375_n#109 Akap Bata
Para sa Bata, Pamilya at Pamayanan

Ang ladlad#28 Ang Lad-lad
Bukas isip. Bukas Puso.

528327_147439715432107_1310352401_n#46 Ating Guro
Para sa Guro, sa Bata at sa Bansa

17901_10151542325776764_98916178_n#79 Bayan Muna
Kampeon ng Mahihirap

24446_489637974419891_940779756_n#54 Gabriela
Babae, bata at bayan.. Tuloy ang laban!

25423_339133268138_5807105_n#32 Katribu
Kasama mo sa kabuhayan, kalikasan at kultura
Indigenous peoples

[Appeal] AICHR must take a stand against enforced/involuntary disappearances in the region -SAPA TFAHR

26 April 2013

H.E. Pehin Dato Dr. Awang Hj. Ahmad bin Hj. Jumat
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)
Jalan Subok, Bandar Seri Begawan
Brunei Darussalam BD 2710
Tel: (673) 226 1177, 226 1291-5
Fax: (673) 226 1709, 2904
Email: aseanbru@mfa.gov.bn, bruneirep.aichr@gmail.com

Your Excellency,

Re: AICHR must take a stand against enforced/involuntary disappearances in the region

ForumAsia LogoThe Solidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacy – Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights (SAPA TFAHR) writes to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) again to convey our disappointment and regret at the AICHR’s continuing silence on the disappearance of prominent Laotian development worker and activist Sombath Somphone. SAPA TFAHR’s co-convenor, FORUM-ASIA, had previously written to you, on 4 January 2013 and on 1 February 2013, on the same matter[1]. Sombath’s disappearance now extends into the fifth month and it is highly lamentable that the primary organ charged with the promotion and protection of human rights in the region has refused to take a stand or even expressed any concern and solidarity.

We stress that the issue of enforced/involuntary disappearance is a human rights violation that not only occurs in Lao PDR, but is a regional concern that is endemic to ASEAN. You must be well aware of similar cases in Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines, where accountability for victims of political violence and disappearances remain elusive even until today.[2] In this context, any insistence of upholding the ASEAN principles of non-interference and territorial sovereignty over principles of human rights and accountability would be highly misplaced and unacceptable.

While the AICHR claims that it is not within its mandate to act on individual complaints, it can certainly at the very least develop a public position and plan of approach to address the issue of enforced/involuntary disappearances. Otherwise, it risks sending a message that such egregious human rights abuses are allowed to go on with impunity. Adopting a public position and plan of approach to address this issue is definitely well within the mandate and functions of the AICHR.[3]

It is high time that AICHR responds to questions of its relevance for human rights in the region. Staying silent on Sombath’s disappearance is a convenient but short-sighted approach because human rights violations related to land, natural resources and the environment are likely to increase as the region embarks on a zealous pursuit of economic development and integration towards 2015. The AICHR must stress to individual ASEAN member states on the urgent need for an enabling environment and democratic space for all human rights defenders, including development workers and civil society organizations, to do their legitimate work without fear of reprisals.

The AICHR’s Terms of Reference is due for a review in 2014, but it must not delay any longer to rethink its lackluster position on human rights. The disappearance of Sombath Somphone is not one that can be simply dismissed as yet another statistic because of the physical and mental anguish dealt to friends, family and the community at large. The basic and fundamental rights to life, liberty and security of the person must be upheld at all times.

We thus call on the AICHR to boldly confront the issue and take a stand against enforced/involuntary disappearances. Maintaining a veil of silence is neither constructive nor exemplary of a regional human rights body. We reassure you that continued pressure and attention will be applied on the AICHR and all relevant stakeholders to demand accountability on the disappearance of Sombath Somphone and other victims in the region. The integrity of the AICHR is at stake and it must take action decisively and promptly. Otherwise, the values and reputation of the AICHR will not stand up to scrutiny despite being in existence for five years.

If you require more information, please kindly contact Joses Kuan at tel: +66 83544 5166 or email: joses@forum-asia.org; or Atnike Sigiro at +62 8129401766 or email: atnike@forum-asia.org.

We thank you for your kind attention and hope to receive a reply from AICHR.

Yours truly,

Giyoun Kim
Acting Executive Director, FORUM-ASIA
Co-convenor of SAPA TFAHR

Chalida Tajaroensuk
Director, People’s Empowerment Foundation
Co-convenor of SAPA TFAHR

1. H.E. Le Loung Minh, Secretary-General of Association of Southeast Asian Nations
2. H.E. Om Yentieng, Representative of Cambodia to AICHR
3. H.E. Mr. Rafendi Djamin, Representative of Indonesia to AICHR
4. H.E. Mr. Bounkeut Sangsomsak, Representative of Laos to AICHR
5. H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr. Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Representative of Malaysia to AICHR
6. H.E. Amb. Kyaw Tint Swe, Representative of Myanmar to AICHR
7. H.E. Amb. Rosario Gonzales Manalo, Representative of the Philippines to AICHR
8. H.E. Amb. Chan Heng Chee, Representative of Singapore to AICHR
9. H.E. Mr. Seree Nonthasoot, Representative of Thailand to AICHR
10. H.E. Amb.Le Thi Thu, Representative of Vietnam to AICHR
11. Ms. Leena Ghosh, Assistant Director, AIPA, ASEAN Foundation, AICHR and Other
ASEAN Associated Entities Division, ASEAN Secretariat

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[Statement] of the ASEAN SOGI Caucus regarding the recent ACSC/APF event in Brunei where certain sectors were prevented to join the civil society event

Statement of the ASEAN SOGI Caucus regarding the recent ACSC/APF event in Brunei where certain sectors were prevented to join the civil society event.

ASEAN LGBTWe, theASEAN SOGI Caucus[i] are deeplyoutraged and concerned by the decision of the National Organizing Committee(NOC) of Brunei Darussalam‘s to restrict discussions and limit civil societyspaces at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People’s Forum 2013(ASCS/APF) for selective groups of people whose opinions and views are notaligned with the state’s views, namely sexual orientation and gender identityand gender expression (SOGIE), sex work, sexual and reproductive health rights.

We aredisappointed that even in spaces that are meant to foster and uphold democracyand human rights principles by and for civil society organizations, specificsectors of society are being discriminated against and are restricted.

People ofdiverse sexual orientation and gender identity as well as sex workers andadvocates of sexual and reproductive rights are banned and given conditionsfrom organizing educational workshops that promote understanding and addressthe human rights violations that we are subjected to because of our identityand orientation.

Westrongly believe that the invisible hand of the state in policing civil societyspaces is highly unacceptable, and if such policing continues the ASCS/APF willno longer be a relevant space for civil society. We strongly urge the ACSC/APFto immediately address and correct this matter.

We are at the stage in our struggle for equality and respect that wewill not accept discrimination, abuse and violence or state sanction as a partof our existence by the denial of our rights and our humanity.
It is in this spirit of pride and dignity that we are reclaiming ourrightful space in our respective countries and in our region, and we demand ourgovernments to:
1. Immediately repeal laws that directly andindirectly criminalize SOGI, recognizes LGBTIQ rights as human rights,and harmonizes national laws, policies and practices with the YogyakartaPrinciples.

2. Establish national level mechanisms andreview existing regional human rights instruments (e.g.AICHR, ACWC) to include the promotion and protection of the equal rights of allpeople regardless of SOGI with the active engagement of the LGBTIQ community.

3. Depathologize SOGI and promote psychologicalwell being of people of Diverse SOGI in accordance with the WorldHealth Organization (WHO) standards, and ensure equal access to health andsocial services.

We urgethe ACSC/APF 2013 to correct and apologize for the discriminatory andregressive action that grossly disrespected our basic human rights as membersof the ASEAN community. We call on members of society to support our call for aTRULY INCLUSIVE and a REAL ACSC/APF that protects and promotes the human rightsof ASEAN peoples regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity as wellas socio-economic background.
[i] The ASEAN Sexual Orientation andGender Identity Caucus or known as “ASEAN SOGI Caucus” is a network of people who respect and promote the human rights of people regardless of sexualorientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE)

ASEAN SOGI Caucus – aseansogicaucus@gmail.com

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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.

[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


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)

[Announcement] Job announcement: MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION OFFICER-ATM

Job announcement:

atm-logoWe are Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), an alliance of mining-affected communities and civil society organizations challenging the aggressive promotion of destructive large-scale mining in the Philippines. We are a national campaign of more than a hundred local and national groups. We are looking for someone who will lead our communication and media work as a full-time staff.

We need someone who will:

· Be responsible for the production and coordination of communication materials for campaigns and advocacy projects such as articles, stories, publications and similar information resources.
· Manage and maintain our website and other social media platforms
· Coordinate with individuals and organization on the collection, archival and retrieval of media and communication resources
· Assist in research work and other field documentation requirements
· Work with our media partners and coordinate campaign actions and events

If you are:

· A graduate of any communication or community development courses or any related course;
· Experienced in a similar role in preparing media content and working with media organizations;
· Familiar with social media, blogging and website maintenance;
· Interested on issues around the environment, natural resources, indigenous peoples and human rights;
· Computer literate on office/productivity systems;
· Knowledge in imaging, video or lay-out software is an advantage;
· Willing to work long hours, travel as part of the work, team player, and able to work under pressure.
Submit resume, cover letter and two sample articles to recruit2013.atm@gmail.com on or before January 23, 2013. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

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.

[Appeal] Urgent Call for International Solidarity to Urge ASEAN to help halt intensifying conflict in ethnic states in Burma

Urgent Call for International Solidarity to Urge ASEAN to help halt intensifying conflict in ethnic states in Burma

We are movements and organizations calling on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to add its voice and heed mounting international calls for an immediate stop to the continuing attacks on the Kachin people in Burma.

The Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) and the signatories below urges all ASEAN governments to end its silence on the humanitarian challenges happening within its own backyard and compel the Burmese government to stand down and stop the violence it is perpetrating in Kachin state. Air strikes in the ethnic state were reported to have begun a few days ago.

As this situation unfolds into a grave humanitarian crisis, the ASEAN governments are obliged under its own Charter and international laws to address systematic human rights violations that occur even outside their own territories. The displacement of around 75,000 people since June 2011 and deaths of around 300 people during the last air strike in the northern states of Kachin and nearby Shan must be condemned. The Kachins have long been disenfranchised economically and politically, and have been suffering from poverty, sexual violence against women and children, forced labor, extra judicial killings, among others. It is time that their miserable situation is addressed head-on.

As the so-called reformist Burmese government continues to justify its acts of violence by claiming that their military action was done in self-defense, ASEAN governments should take a more proactive position in joining the call of the international community to pressure the Burmese government to cease and desist further military action that would only intensify the conflict and inevitably result to widespread human rights abuses in Burma. ASEAN should also lead and seek the unimpeded flow of humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced peoples caused by the conflict.

While it is imperative to tackle the immediate situation in Kachin, the only way to strategically resolve the conflict is if the demand of the Kachin and ethnic peoples for genuine political dialogue and recognition of their ethnic rights and identities are heeded.

We call on all humanitarian institutions, peace-loving individuals and the global solidarity movement for Burma to support the call for peace and ethnic rights of the struggling peoples of Kachin and the rest of Burma.




Regional & Global

Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)

Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean – Burma)

ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC)

Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD)

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia)

Burma Partnership (BP)

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CWS)

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Forum of Burmese in Europe (FBE)

Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD)



Aceh Judicial Monitoring Institute (AJM)

Acehnese Civil Society Task Force (ACSTF)

Peoples Crisis Centre (PCC).

Saree School for Human Rights and Peace (SHRP)



Burma Campaign Australia



Actions Birmanie



Kachin National Organization (KNO)

Karen Women Empowerment Group (KWEG)

Myanmar People’s Forum (MPF)


East Timor

East Timor Students Solidarity Council (ETSSC)



Association Info Birmanie



Burma Aktion

Society for Threatened Peoples – Germany



Burma Centre Delhi (BCD)

Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)



Akar Bengkulu Indonesia



Solidaritas Indonesia untuk Burma (SIB)




People’s Forum on Burma (Japan)



Hon. Charles Santiago, Member of Parliament of Malaysia

Hon. Tian Chua, Member of Parliament, Malaysia



Norwegian Burma Committee



Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (FBC-P)

Free Burma Coalition – Philippines (Cebu) (FBC-P Cebu)

Active Citizenship Foundation (ACF)

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)

Center for Agrarian Reform, Empowerment and Transformation, Inc. (CARET)

Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA)

Center for Peace Education, Miriam College

Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP)

Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML)

Mindanao Peace Weavers (MPW)

Mindanao People’s Caucus (MPC)

Nisa Ul-Haqq Fi Bangsamoro (Women for Justice in the Bangsamoro)

Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines)

Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)

Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PHILRIGHTS)


United Transport Workers Organization (UTWO)



Polish Burma Solidarity


South Africa

Free Burma Campaign – South Africa (FBC-SA)



Swedish Burma Committee



Association Suisse-Birmanie


United Kingdom

Burma Campaign UK

Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK

Burma Action Ireland



All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress

Assistant Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)

Back Pack Health Worker Team (BPHWT)

Forum for Democracy in Burma

Human Rights Education Institute of Burma

Nationalities Youth Forum



U.S. Campaign for Burma


West Papua

Dewan Adat Papua


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[Statement] More than action, we need political will -CLRD

More than action, we need political will

CLRDThe Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc. (CLRD) condemns in strongest term the massacre of members of the B’laan tribe on 18 October 2012 in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur. The killing was beyond inhumane, a violation not only of the human rights of the victims but is also perceived as an attack to the B’laan tribe.

Uphold Ancestral Property Rights

The massacre, based on different probes, independent or official investigation by the government, was a consequence of the dispute between the B’laan tribe and Sagitarrius Mines, Inc. (SMI)-Xstrata over the ancestral properties of the B’laan tribe in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, one of the areas to be explored by the latter in its proposed Tampakan Project. The Tampakan Project sprang from the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) between SMI and the Philippine Government for the mining and exploration of copper-gold deposits covering an area of approximately 10,000 hectares and is located between the towns of Tampakan, South Cotabato and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur in southern Mindanao.

DaguilCapion, the fulong (tribal leader) of the B’laan tribe along with the rest of his clan openly opposed such intrusion to their property by SMI which eventually led to the declaration of panggyaw or traditional tribal war against the latter in 2010. Meanwhile, JuvyCapion, one of the victims and wife of Daguil, joined Kasasatu Di AktamangIdadLabiManue Di GtagakAkanaAktaga De Di’dadMl’wein (Kalgad) or the Unity for the Defense of Indigenous Peoples and Ancestral Domain Against Mining, a people’s organization opposing SMI-Xstrata.

If and when the massacre is actually connected to aforesaid dispute, the Government shall stand firm and uphold the ancestral property rights of the B’lann tribe, a homogenous group protected under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA). The IPRA Law grants certain preferential rights to these Indigenous Peoples or IPs their ancestral domains and all resources found therein, hence, no mineral agreement shall be approved unless there is a prior certification from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) that the area does not overlap any ancestral domain or that the prior free and informed written consent has been obtained from the IPs concerned. And in case of conflict, Section 65 of the same law mandates thatwhen disputes involveIPs, customary laws and practices shall be used to resolve the dispute thereby affirming the B’laan council’s declaration of panggyaw.

Corporate Manipulation

The lack of consent of the B’laan prevented SMI to proceed with its project hence, it allegedly resorted to the dirty tactics of corporate manipulation such as the tracing of the whereabouts of Daguil and commissioning the military, particularly 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, to strike out against Daguil and his family. SMI which was allegedly to be in cahoots with the military earlier have Daguil declared a bandit, a member of the belligerent New Peoples Army (NPA) by several local officials namely Kiblawan Mayor Marivic Diamante and Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas, both of whom offered a bounty for the capture of Daguil which was taken as a shoot to kill order.

Assuming that Daguil is indeed a bandit or a belligerent, there are still processes to be followed for his arrest or captivity. The members of the military, among others, should be the first to know that a shoot to kill order had long been declared unconstitutional since it violates one’s right to due process of law.

Killing the Innocent

Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo, 27th IB commander, claimed that the victims of the massacre were killed and was a mere collateral damage in an encounter between the military and alleged NPA rebels led by Daguil. Contrary to the forgoing statement, witnesses proved that there was no such encounter as there were no exchanges of gunfire heard by the residents in the area where the massacre was committed. It was also confirmed that Daguil was never close in the area during the killings. The testimonies of the witnesses, including the two children survivors, and pieces of evidence gathered by the police proved that the victims were unarmed, helpless and were even sleeping during the firing.

Even if assuming that Daguil was there, the military should have observed due diligence not to harm any innocent person, not to mention, there were children, and a pregnant woman who were incapable of defending themselves against armed military men.

Military Abuse and Circumvention

Among the justifications given by the 27th IBPA is that they were there to serve the warrant of arrest of Daguil. This alone is no justification because members of the military have no authority to serve any warrant of arrest. Even if said act is valid or legal why do they have to clean up the scene of the crime before the police investigators arrived, allegedly tampered the evidence, and took custody of the remains of the victims as if they were held hostage in exchange of the surrender of Daguil. These acts were clear indications of patent violations of our laws and the Constitution as well as blatant human rights violations.

Political Will

Various independent investigation of the said brutal massacre yielded the findings that the crime was actually premeditated which are very alarming. These reports should have prompted the government to come up with an official fact finding investigation in order to hold the perpetrators accountable if probable cause is found to believe that there was really a crime committed. Although the military officers involved in the operation were already recalled and relieved and are now facing court martial, the government must take a credible step to assure not only the families of the victims but as well as the civil society and the whole citizenry as a whole that they will conduct an impartial investigation on the matter and avoid any doubt for a possible whitewash or cover up.

We are a society bound by law, international and municipal and adherence to these warrant that it should be all-encompassing followed by everyone and implemented over everybody including the military. The military may place as a defense or alibi that the act done is in the fulfilment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of an office or in obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose but in no means can it be considered as such if it was actually done to please a high and able-paying corporation working with the government.

As human rights defenders and children’s rights advocates, we are urging the government, from His Excellency Benigno Aquino 111, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of the Philippines, the Department of Justice, the Congress of the Philippines, the Commission on Human Rights and other Civil Society groups to take an active participation in the independent, impartial and credible investigation of said the incident, and that the rule of law be upheld.

Apart from the investigation, the Government should recall the military troops deployed in the area to avoid further possible abuses or violations and to appease the tribal groups residing thereat. A review of the corporate social responsibility of SMI is also highly recommended.

Specifically, we call on the Commission on Human Rights to ensure the compensation and/or financial assistance to the families of the victims and that the necessary rehabilitation for the survivors is made available to them.

To our fellow HR defenders, we should keep our guards on and remain on the qui vive to ensure that human rights prevail and justice serve.

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[Off-the-shelf] Read less know more Primer on the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 published -CLRD

Read less know more
Primer on the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 published
by Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRD)

CLRD ATL primer cover

Part of the anniversary celebration the CLRDC was the soft launching of the “Primer on the
Anti-Torture Act of 2009”. Although printed copies are already available, the CLRDC team
opted for the “soft launching” coined to mean a publication of the primer’s soft copy in the
blog site of the organization. Printed copies were distributed to some NGOs on December
20, 2012 in time for CLRDC’s decade of service. The primer is also one of the contributions of
CLRDC to the civil society in its advocacy against torture.

For the electronic text of the primer, kindly visit http://clrdc.wordpress.com/.

The primer seeks to respond to issues and questions frequently asked in the Anti-Torture Act
of 2009, from the definition of torture, the acts constituting the crime of torture, the penalties
involved, the legal remedies that maybe availed of by the victims of torture, the principles of
command responsibility explained, as well as the rights of a person under custodial
investigation. The readers of the said Primer can better appreciate the law by reading its
concise and simplified form and presentation. Reading less but learning more about the
right not to be tortured.

The primer was the collective efforts of the members of the United against Torture Coalition
(UATC) and was written by the CLRDC team. Special thanks goes to the Medical Action
Group (MAG) for financing the printing and reproduction of the cover page.

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[Press Release] Launch of 10 days of activism against torture -OMCT

Launch of 10 days of activism against torture

omct_logo_enGenevaSwitzerland, 1st of December 2012. On the occasion of the Human Rights Day, held on December 10th, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), the leading global civil society coalition against torture, is launching 10 days of activism against torture and ill-treatment in the framework of its global campaign “Nothing can justify torture under any circumstances”.

“In the coming ten days we will highlight the role of 10 persons fighting against torture in their respective country in order to raise awareness of one of the most serious and persistent violations of rights”, said Gerald Staberock, Secretary General of the OMCT. “These men and women stand for many examples around the world of civil society organisations and individuals working against torture often under difficult and dangerous circumstances and requiring our support”, he added.

The 10 days of activism against torture, from December 1st to December 10th, will be launched today with a Flash Mob organised in Geneva to recall the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and the importance to mobilize against this practice. The initiative aims at alerting public opinion around the world that torture and ill-treatment is a negation of human dignity that should concern us all.

“Nobody should remain indifferent before this barbaric practice”, added Anne-Laurence Lacroix, OMCT Deputy Secretary General. “Torture and ill-treatment remain a widespread practice around the world and often in places that are closer to you than you would think”, she stressed.

Therefore, from the 1st to the 10th of December, the OMCT will together with members of its global network ‘SOS torture’ introduce ten portraits of human rights defenders, coming from all parts of the globe, and their courageous struggle against torture and ill-treatment. The portraits available on a dedicated page of its website (www.omct.org) will illustrate the challenges and obstacles these women and men face, as well as the disappointment and hopes they encounter in their fight against torture. In their respective portraits, the ten human rights defenders also stress the importance of public opinion against torture demonstrating that anyone, anywhere can do something to support the global fight.

“Each and everyone of us has the possibility to take a stand against torture and ill-treatment. We invite people around the world to discover the ten portraits against torture and impunity on OMCT’s website and to take action so that the absolute prohibition of torture becomes reality” concluded Anne-Laurence Lacroix.
Pierre-Henri Golly, Communication officer, Tel. +41 22 809 49 39
For further information, visit http://www.omct.org

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[Resources] PHILIPPINES Civil Society Report on the Implementation of the ICCPR

PHILIPPINES Civil Society Report on the Implementation of the ICCPR
(Replies to the List of Issues CCPR)

Civil Society Report to the UN Human Rights Committee, 106th Session (October 15-November 2, 2012) for the Philippines Fourth Periodic Report on the CCPR.

The preparation and submission of this report is a collaborative effort of twenty (20) CSOs and NGOs facilitated by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) with support from the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR).

Read complete report @ www2.ohchr.org

[In the news] Petitioners unite as #NoToCybercrimeLaw to mount unified actions -InterAksyon.com

Petitioners unite as #NoToCybercrimeLaw to mount unified actions
By InterAksyon.com
October 6, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — Organizations and individuals who have filed petitions against the Cybercrime Prevention Act have agreed to join forces and mount concerted actions to press their demand to scrap the controversial statute, beginning with a rally before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, when they hope the tribunal to issue a ruling.

The petitioners — activist groups, freedom of expression advocates, media organizations, bloggers, lawyers and other sectors — agreed to call themselves by the hashtag #NoToCybercrimeLaw during a meeting at the University of the Philippines College of Law Saturday.

Among those represented at the meeting were the Kabataan party-list, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the law firm headed by lawyer Harry Roque.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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[Event] Red-Baiting Forum 2012 (on October 19th at UP Balay Kalinaw, Quezon City) -IPON

Dear Sir or Madam,

As a follow-up to our 2011 Red-Baiting Conference we cordially invite you to our

Red-Baiting Forum 2012 (on October 19th at UP Balay Kalinaw, Quezon City).

In September 21, 2012,  activists as well as civil society organizations allover the Philippines commemorated the victims of human rights violations during the painful years of martial law under Ferdinand Marcos. Publicly labelled as subversives and communist terrorists, the state structurally harassed and repressed government-critical individuals and groups. Today it is known that the Philippines went through one of their bloodiest chapters in history. However, an essential paradigma of those days survived until today: Red-Baiting.

Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office IPON emphasizes this crucial issue that deals with threats to the existence of civil society organizations and their members. Red-Baiting in the Philippines can be described as a political strategy to accuse, denounce and persecute individuals and groups as members of communist organizations like the CPP-NDF-NPA in order to obstruct their work. The most forceful and extreme examples of Red-Baiting related violations of human rights are enforced disappearances, torture and extralegal killings.

Among the victims of Red-Baiting, human rights defenders are particularly endangered. They become victims of physical and legal harassements because of their peaceful engagement in their demand for human rights. Therefore it is the responsibility of the Philippine state to particularly take measures to protect human rights defenders and provide a situation in which they can peacefully strive for their rights without any kind of repressions.

The forum is designed to gather views and recommendations from various civil society groups and state actors.
Together we want to share perspectives, find common grounds and work out practical steps towards possible solutions.
Best regards,

Jan Pingel


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[In the news] 5 reasons NGOs reject current version of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration -InterAksyon.com

5 reasons NGOs reject current version of ASEAN Human Rights Declaration
By Veronica Uy, InterAksyon.com
September 13, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — Nongovernmental organizations on Thursday rejected the draft of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration they were shown for consultation and which is set for ratification by the regional bloc’s 10 member-states at their summit in Cambodia this November.

Sixty-two representatives from 54 NGOs based in members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, loosely organized as the Civil Society Forum on ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, met in Manila September 10-11 in Manila ahead of their consultation with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights on September 12.

Cynthia Gabriel, of Malaysia’s Suaram, called the draft as it is currently worded a failure.

“Equality and non-discrimination must be the cornerstone of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. Anything less than that is a failure,” she said.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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