Tag Archives: UPR

[Statement] A Plea for Justice, A Cry for Hope -TFDP

A Plea for Justice, A Cry for Hope

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) joins the call, locally and internationally, for accountability of the Philippine State for the widespread extrajudicial killings being perpetrated in the name of the war on drugs and crime.

We implore the government to heed the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the 39 states who issued a statement thereafter. Worthy to note the following:

· the States’ expression of serious concern over the human rights situation in the Philippines, particularly the ‘thousands of killings and the climate of impunity associated with the war on drugs;

· their call for the Philippine government to bring the killings to an end and ‘cooperate with the international community to pursue appropriate investigations into these incidents’;

· their continuing concern regarding the intimidations against human rights defenders and that they be accorded full protection by the Philippine government;

· their appeal for the Philippine government ‘to pursue investigations of alleged human rights violations and abuses, and to create a safe and secure environment for indigenous communities, journalists and human rights defenders.’

Other groups have called for an end to support for the PNP and AFP by other States. We support this call. Blood stains the uniform of the security sector with the EJKs of suspected drug dependents and pushers, the bombing of communities, the attacks on human rights defenders and the wanton disregard for life and dignity.

We reiterate our demand for the Philippine government to extend an invitation to the Special Rapporteur (SR) on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Dr. Agnes Callamard without any preconditions or limitations. The argument that the SR is in league with the political opposition has become stale and facile.

If our government refuses this action, then we have no other recourse but to ask the United Nations Human Rights Council to create a Commission on Inquiry to look into the current human rights situation of the Philippines, particularly the rampant and widespread extrajudicial killings.

We suggest the creation of an independent commission to be composed of women and men known for their wisdom and impartiality to investigate all the EJKs by state forces and vigilante squads and to review all operations, including deaths due to “nanlaban”.

We have visited the wakes of the young people mercilessly killed and have condoled with their families. We have listened to witnesses contradicting the stories of “nanlaban”. Their plea is JUSTICE.

Our calls for an end to EJKs have fallen on deaf ears. Instead we have received a mouthful of threats from no less than the highest official of the land. We ask the international community to take all actions to pressure our government to end the killings. This is our cry for HOPE!

Sr. Crescencia L. Lucero, SFIC
Chairperson
October 5, 2017

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[Statement] On the Adoption of the outcome of the UPR of the Philippines-HRW

On the Adoption of the outcome of the UPR of the Philippines-HRW
September 22, 2017

Thank you, Mr. President.

We are dismayed that the Philippines rejected all UPR recommendations that would make a practical difference in ending extrajudicial killings perpetrated in the name of its murderous “war on drugs.”

It rejected Peru’s recommendation to cooperate with special procedures by extending a standing invitation, and recommendations by Ghana, Hungary and others to allow access to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, without conditions that might compromise her impartiality.

We remind Philippines of its obligation as a member to cooperate with the Council and its mechanisms.

We are deeply concerned that rather than investigating compelling evidence of culpability of police and their agents in many of those killings, Duterte has launched a campaign of vilification and harassment against individuals and institutions pursuing accountability for those abuses, Senator Leila de Lima, who faces politically motivated drug charges designed to silence her, the official Commission on Human Rights, as well as the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions.

In its UPR responses, the Philippines even refused to accept recommendations to protect journalists and human rights defenders, or reject incitement to violence.

Instead of calling for respect for international standards or due process, President Duterte has said of drug suspects: “My order is to shoot to kill you. I don’t care about human rights, you better believe me.” And “I will kill you, I will kill you. Forget about the laws of men, forget about the laws of international law, whatever.”

Does the delegation deny President Duterte made these remarks? Does it believe that any killing without due process is justified if perpetrated in the name of the “war on drugs”?

The High Commissioner said in his update to this session: “I continue to be gravely concerned by the President’s open support for a shoot-to-kill policy regarding suspects, as well as by the apparent absence of credible investigations into reports of thousands of extrajudicial killings, and the failure to prosecute any perpetrator.”

If the Philippines will not face up to its international responsibilities and membership obligations, the Human Rights Council should step in, and do all that it can to end the violence, support a United Nations-supervised investigations into the deaths, and demand accountability for all unlawful killings.

Note: statement read by Human Rights Watch today at the UN Human Rights Council’s where the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines was adopted. The Philippines received a total of 257 recommendations, supporting 103 of those recommendations and noting 154.

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[Press Release] Human Rights Defenders to Government: Comply with UPR Recommendations -iDEFEND

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS TO GOVERNMENT:
COMPLY WITH UPR RECOMMENDATIONS

Photo by AFAD

Quezon City- Human rights advocates today held a press conference to report on the events at the recently concluded UN Universal Periodic Review in Geneva. The UPR’s report on the Philippines has been received by the government, which has until September to respond formally to the body. In the interactive dialogue of the review, 95 delegations made statements following the presentation of the Philippine delegation. Most of them  focused on the need to put an end to, and investigate, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, torture, human trafficking, and to stop efforts at reintroducing capital punishment and lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility. Recommendations also urged the government to allow the Special Rapporteur to conduct her investigation into the summary killings without conditions.

iDEFEND and PAHRA sent a team to Geneva to participate in UPR side events organized with regional and international NGO networks, as well as to conduct dialogues, public action and networking in conjunction with the UPR.

“As expected, government presented before the UPR a report blatantly denying state responsibility for more than 8,000 deaths under the war on drugs or that a surge of extrajudicial killings is happening. Government blamed media for exaggerating the number of deaths, the Special Rapporteur for being biased, and the Commission on Human Rights for changing the definition of extrajudicial killing” noted Ms. Nilda Sevilla, Chairperson of FIND (Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances).

“What was made clear in the UPR is that the government could not fool the international human rights community, and its attempts to justify the war on drugs failed to change the tone of the dialogue that followed”, said Mr. Ellecer Carlos, spokesperson of iDEFEND (In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement). “By ‘sticking to its guns’, the government wasted an opportunity for productive interaction with the Human Rights Council towards a more realistic and effective approach to the drugs issue in the country,” he added.

“President Duterte’s appointment of Senator Cayetano to the DFA despite his failed UPR performance to turn international opinion favorably towards the war on drugs and extrajudicial killings, indicate the policy direction of the administration to deploy EJK apologists and fake fact-mongers worldwide,” said Rose Trajano, Secretary General of PAHRA (Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates). “This may seriously undermine the work for justice and anti-impunity in the country”, she added.

The group called on the public to speak out and urge government to comply with the UPR recommendations. They urged relatives of victims of the war on drugs to come forward and tell their stories.

“Marcos victims and relatives of victims of Martial Law are now receiving compensation due to the horrors they faced. The awarding acknowledged the responsibility of the State in their suffering although no payment could completely compensate for their loss. We believe in the future victims of the war on drugs may be able to be acknowledged in the same way—as victims of human rights atrocities by the Duterte administration” shared Mr. Egay Cabalitan, campaign officer of TFDP (Task Force Detainees of the Philippines)

For more information please contact:
Ellecer Carlos, iDEFEND Spokesperson 09176494065
Rose Trajano, PAHRA Secretary General 09173082409

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[In the news] Giit ng ilang human rights group, may human rights crisis sa bansa -GMAnews

Giit ng ilang human rights group, may human rights crisis sa bansa

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/balitanghali/412778/giit-ng-ilang-human-rights-group-may-human-rights-crisis-sa-bansa/video/#small

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[Off the shelf] EJK in the Philippines (A report to UNHRC UPR) by AHRC

balaySUMMARY & EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS IN THE PHILIPPINES
A Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council
for the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines
(3rd Cycle, 27th Session, 2017)

1. This alternate report is a submission of the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), a
university-based human rights institution engaged in the promotion and protection of
human rights. Its core programs include human rights education, research, law and policy
reform, and public interest litigation.

2. This submission highlights extrajudicial and summary killings in the country. Among suchcases are those perpetrated in relation to the Duterte Administration’s “war on drugs.” Inparticular, four key issues are tackled, namely, (1) vague legal definition of “extrajudicialkillings,” (2) due process of law, (3) presumption of regularity and command responsibility,and (4) accountability and impunity. Recommendations made during the 2nd Cycle of theUPR related to due process and extrajudicial killings are referred to in this report.

3. AHRC submits that the Philippine Government has failed to address extrajudicial and
summary killings.

Read full report @balayph.net

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[From the web] ASIA: Violations of freedom of expression and extra-judicial killings denounced in Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines -AHRC

Asian Human Rights Commission

ASIA: Violations of freedom of expression and extra-judicial killings denounced in Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines

Asian Human Rights CommissionHRC section: Item 3, Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and extra-judicial killings

speaker: Ms. Tyrell Haberkorn

An Oral Statement to the 20th Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status

ASIA: Violations of freedom of expression and extra-judicial killings denounced in Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines

Thank you Madam President,

The ALRC welcomes the work and reports of the Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and extra-judicial killings. We welcome the Pakistani government’s agreement to a visit by the mandate on freedom of expression. As detailed in an ALRC written statement submitted to this session, Pakistan remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. The ALRC documented the killing of 16 journalists and injuring of 46 others in the first eleven months of 2011, of which five were allegedly abducted and killed by the state intelligence agencies. Senior journalist Mr. Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistan Bureau Chief of the Asia Times Online, was abducted on May 29, 2011, and was subsequently killed, having exposed an Al-Qaida network operating within the Pakistan Navy. He had received death threats from the intelligence agencies. Despite the Supreme Court instituting a commission of inquiry into this killing in June 2011, those responsible have not been identified and held to account.

This illustrates a wider pattern of arbitrary arrests or abductions, forced disappearances and torture, following which victims are surfaced dead. In Balochistan Province alone, between July 2010 and October 2011, the ALRC documented 215 such extra-judicial killings. Journalists, teachers, political activists, students and human rights defenders have been targeted in particular.

Concerning Thailand, the ALRC would like to highlight the absence of full and transparent information on the number of prosecutions under Article 112 of the Criminal Code and the 2007 Computer Crimes Act. Information released by the Office of the Judiciary indicates a rise in the number of complaints filed under Article 112 between 2005 and 2010, from 33 to 478, however whether or not these led to prosecutions remains unavailable, and contributes to the atmosphere of fear in the country. Evidence from several cases, including Amphon Tangnoppakul, who died in custody on 8 May 2012, and Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, indicate that individuals convicted of violating these laws experience a lack of access to medical care and abuse in prison. The last six months have seen a rise in online, verbal, and physical threats made against advocates of reform. Within this context, your request to visit Thailand should be granted by the government without delay.

Mr. La Rue, we are gravely concerned by the verdict concerning Alexander Aan in Indonesia, who had been charged with religious blasphemy, atheism propagation and dissemination of religious hostility. He was sentenced on June 14, 2012, to two and a half years imprisonment for the latter charge under the Electronic Information and Transaction Law (ITE Law), which the ALRC deems to be vague, open to abuse and in need of reform, in line with Indonesia’s international obligations and commitments under the recent UPR.

Finally, Mr. Heyns, we urge your intervention with the government of the Philippines to ensure that Major General Jovito Palparan, who is allegedly responsible for the country’s targeted extra-judicial killings of hundreds of activists, is arrested and held accountable. We also urge the governments of Thailand and Sri Lanka to agree to country visits by both your mandates, as requested.

Webcast: http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2012/06/alrc-clustered-id-on-expression-and-executions-continued-5th-meeting.html

# # #
About the ALRC: The Asian Legal Resource Centre is an independent regional non-governmental organisation holding general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is the sister organisation of the Asian Human Rights Commission. The Hong Kong-based group seeks to strengthen and encourage positive action on legal and human rights issues at the local and national levels throughout Asia.
Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.

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

Live webcast hinggil sa karapatang pantao

ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[Press Release] Germany and Norway oppose amendment of the Juvenile Justice Law -CLRD

Germany and Norway oppose amendment of the Juvenile Justice Law

“The Philippine government must ensure not to lower the age of criminal responsibility” referring to the children in conflict with the law. This was one of the statements of Germany during the Inter-active dialogue at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on 29 May 2012. Norway on the other hand recommends that the Juvenile Justice Law must be implemented effectively.

While the whole nation was glued last week at the Impeachment Trial of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, the House of Representatives successfully gained ground in expediting the passage into the second readingof the amendment of the Juvenile Justice Law with regard to the age of criminal responsibility lowering it to twelve.

The current Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 also known as Republic Act 9344 is a law that promotes the rights of children in conflict with the law (CICL), as well as of children at risk. In the said law, the age of criminal responsibility is generally at fifteen above and the law provides for diversion programs for the rehabilitation and reintegration of CICL.

According to Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRD), an NGO that monitors, document and provides direct legal assistance to cases of CICL, it has interviewed and documented cases of CICL who experienced torture in the hands of law enforcers while they were being arrested. With the proposed amendment, CLRD remarked that children above 12 are more prone to abuses, which the implementers of the law failed to address by the current rate and incidents of CICL who suffer and endure torture, which youth homes call “learning experience”. Homosexual CICL aremore extremely discriminated especially in the context of involuntary servitude.Also, in its regular conduct of visits to detention centers of children, also known as “youth homes”, CLRD claimed that the structure of youth homes is typical detention cells – – crowded, dark, unventilated, stinky.

CLRD also added that in the course of its provision of orientation on children’s rights and the law to local government units, it learned that most local barangays that were given orientations were not keen to the nitty-gritty of the Juvenile Justice law.They want to know the law.

Rowena Legaspi, Executive Director of CLRD said: “The inhumane conditions of the CICL cannot be denied from the eyes of the international communities. Hence, during the UPR, most recommendations by foreign countries to the Philippine government were addressed to ensuring that any forms of torture and corporal punishment should be looked into.”

With the recommendations of Germany and Norway, explicitly ensuring effective implementation of the juvenile justice law, CLRD also challenge the honourable” members of Congress to immerse themselves with CICL, conduct surprise visit to children detention centers, go to the communities, and if they care enough, interview children victims of torture, before they can validly push for the lowering of the age of criminal responsibility.

“CICL are victims of unequal economic distribution – – deprived of a family life, education, and right to food, most of them are trafficking survivors. They are not criminals, they must be seen as victims, and most of all children”, CLRD said.

CLRD supports the recommendations of Germany and Norway and pronounced that “Juvenile Justice Law must be effectively implemented as amendment is not the solution for the State implementers’ failure to fulfil and discharge its human rights obligations to the children.” It further stressed that “lowering the age of criminal responsibility constitute a grave breach to the convention on the rights of the child which the Philippines has ratified and acceded to.”

Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc.
401-B, CRM Building, No. 106 Kamias Road, Quezon City
Tel. No. 4333199

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

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

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

Dear Everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

Best regards,

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

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[Press Release] Recommendations by UN will make real difference to Philippine victims of torture, IRCT says

IRCT IN GENEVA
Recommendations by UN will make real difference to Philippine victims of torture, IRCT says

30-05-2012

Torture in the Philippines was among the primary focuses of the United Nations Human Rights Council during the country’s Universal Periodic Review yesterday.

More than 15 states focused on torture in their recommendations to improve human rights in the Philippines. These recommendations include:

that the Government of the Philippines effectively implements the 2009 Anti-Torture Act, with a particular focus on ensuring that all investigations and prosecutions of allegations of torture and ill-treatment fully cover the possibility of command responsibility as stipulated in section 13 of the Act; and that all alleged victims of torture and ill-treatment have effective access to a medical evaluation of their injuries by institutionalising the use of the Istanbul Protocol, including by providing guidelines to judges, prosecutors, forensic doctors and medical personnel dealing with detained persons, to detect and document physical and psychological trauma of torture;

that the Government of the Philippines effectively implement the anti torture act with a special focus on responsibility of superior officers, access to a medical examination and the establishment of a sufficiently resourced rehabilitation programme for torture victims.
One of the main objectives of the second cycle of the UPR is to follow up to recommendations from the first UPR cycle; another objective is to ensure that recommendations are increasingly concrete and focused to promote implementation and facilitate monitoring and evaluation of these efforts.

The IRCT would like to commend the governments of Denmark and Ireland for making clear, concrete and focused recommendations that are highly pertinent to the specific domestic context of the Philippines, and which, if accepted and implemented, will make a real difference for access to justice and rehabilitation for torture victims in the Philippines.

The IRCT also welcomes the constructive approach taken by the Government of the Philippines to the UPR as clearly shown in its initiative to establish a multi-stakeholder mechanism to monitor implementation of UPR recommendations. The IRCT encourages the Government of the Philippines to accept all recommendations pertaining to torture and ill-treatment without delay so that the important national implementation work can commence immediately.

The Universal Periodic Review, or UPR, is a new mechanism of the United Nations to review the human rights record of all 192 member countries every four years. The Human Rights Council conducts these reviews, which result in recommendations to the state under review of ways in which they shall improve the country’s human rights situation.

For more information:
Read the IRCT’s UPR guide, available for download here as a PDF.

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.

[In the news] Not one human rights violator prosecuted under Aquino, says NY-based watchdog -InterAksyon.com

Not one human rights violator prosecuted under Aquino, says NY-based watchdog

Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
May 21, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III’s human rights record after nearly two years in office remains wanting as his government failed to successfully prosecute a single suspect in pending cases, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Monday.

Elaine Pearson, HRW deputy Asia director, said Philippine officials should expect a “grilling” when they make a report at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council on May 29.

The UPR is a process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States once every four years.

In a report, the rights group said that the Aquino government should do more that train state security forces to respect human rights, saying this “deflect attention from the more serious problem of failing to investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for abuses.”

“Members of the military continue to commit abuses because they know they can get away with it,” Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at HRW, said in a news conference, adding that trainings should go hand-in-hand with prosecution of erring officials.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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

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

UPR Working Group to Review Human Rights Records of 14 States

15 May 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Universal Periodic Review

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

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

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

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

UPR Reporting and Objectives

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

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

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

Monday, 21 May

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

Tuesday, 22 May

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

Wednesday, 23 May

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

Thursday, 24 May

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

Friday, 25 May

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

Tuesday, 29 May

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

Wednesday, 30 May

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

Thursday, 31 May

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

Friday, 1 June

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

Monday, 4 June

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

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

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

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

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

April 20, 2012

Dear fellow human rights defender,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edeliza P. Hernandez, RN
Executive Director
Medical Action Group

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

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

[From the web] A one-of-a-kind UN Human Rights database -OHCHR

A one-of-a-kind UN Human Rights database

23 April 2012

Source: www.ohchr.org

The updated Universal Human Rights Index (UHRI) database is “one of the most important human rights research tools that has been created in the past twenty years,” according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. This comprehensive database is the only online tool, which brings together human rights recommendations from all parts of the UN system.

The Universal Human Rights Index database increases visibility, and offers easier access to recommendations on human rights, both key objectives of the UN Human Rights office, Pillay says. States, international organizations, NGOs, as well as individuals, have improved access to up-to-date human rights efforts worldwide.

At the relaunch celebration in March, 2012, Pillay said, “we have received very enthusiastic comments from States’ representatives, independent experts, civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, and researchers, noting that the amount of time required to undertake research has been dramatically reduced.”

Since December 2010, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is fully responsible for updating and further developing the Index, which had initially been developed by the Swiss authorities.

The UHRI database carries information dating back to 2000. Following its restructure, almost all of the documents dating from 2011 on are available in all six UN languages, and can be accessed by people with disabilities using technologies like screen readers. Additionally, each document now links to other related information in the database, which makes browsing easier.
A major inclusion in the updated UHRI is the new search function for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is a regular review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. Each State is assessed every four and a half years by a working group, made up of representatives from all 47 member states of the Human Rights Council.

The recommendations from the UPR are available on the database and can now be searched by country, by individual human right, by affected groups of people, and more. This information can then be easily cross-referenced with assessments from other UN bodies, so that users can get a very detailed picture of the human rights situations of all of Member States.

With the second round of the UPR about to commence, the High Commissioner has expressed her hope that the increased transparency and functionality provided by the UHRI database will encourage better prioritization and implementation of recommendations to improve States’ human rights.

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

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

April 20, 2012

Dear fellow human rights defender,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours sincerely,
(Sgd.) Edeliza P. Hernandez, RN
Executive Director
Medical Action Group

[In the news] PWDs invisible even to human rights advocates -Yahoo News

PWDs invisible even to human rights advocates
By VERA Files | The Inbox
April 5, 2012

By CARLO FIGUEROA, VERA Files

CAN one marginalized group be more marginalized than the others?

Yes, say persons with disabilities (PWDs) who live with this assumption every day. Indeed, a report by the Coalition on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PhilCoalitionCRPD) says that among vulnerable groups—women, youth, gays and lesbians, and indigenous peoples—PWDs get the least attention from government and sadly, even from human rights campaigners.

“Throughout the years, persons with disabilities have remained largely invisible because of discrimination,” said PhilCoalitionCRPD in its report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The document is part of the joint civil society report submitted for the UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) conducted every four years to look at the human rights situations of the U.N. member countries. The Philippines will undergo its review in May.

“Unfortunately, there was no discussion on persons with disabilities in the Philippines’ state report for the UPR in 2008,” Dr. Liza Martinez, director of the Philippine Deaf Resource Center and a member of the PhilCoalition CPRD said in a recent briefing held in Makati City in preparation for the UPR.

Read full article @ ph.news.yahoo.com

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] Sexual rights & the Universal Periodic Review: a toolkit for advocates

SEXUAL RIGHTS & THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW: A TOOLKIT FOR ADVOCATES

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) are pleased to announce the publication of SEXUAL RIGHTS & THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW: A TOOLKIT FOR ADVOCATES. This innovative toolkit was developed as part of an ongoing collaboration between IPPF and SRI to advance sexual rights and reproductive rights through the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

The toolkit can be viewed and downloaded at: http://bit.ly/GTk3tR

The UPR mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council is used to review each of the 193 Member States of the UN on its entire human rights record every four and a half years. Although relatively new, it is a powerful tool to hold governments accountable for sexual and reproductive rights violations, and to advocate for changes to particular laws and policies that impact on human rights related to sexuality.

This toolkit is designed to assist Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to bring their knowledge, expertise and experiences to an international forum which can influence the realization of human rights where it matters most, in the daily life of individuals in your country. CSOs do not need to have in-depth knowledge of the UN system or human rights law in order to participate effectively with the UPR. Knowledge and experience of national laws and policies that affect sexual rights in your country enables CSOs to participate meaningfully in the UPR because the UPR is all about the human rights situations inside the country being reviewed.

In the first four years of the UPR, sexual rights advocates have already achieved significant success. Several governments have accepted recommendations related to sexuality education, access to abortion, female genital mutilation, contraceptive services, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex work, women’s rights, HIV, maternal mortality and many others.

The UPR is essentially a national process with specific moments which occur in Geneva, Switzerland at the UN Human Rights Council. There are several opportunities to participate in the UPR and you do not need to be involved in all of its stages for your advocacy to be successful. This toolkit will provide you with practical information on the UPR including:

How to participate in the UPR
Why the UPR can be important for your sexual rights advocacy
Helpful tips to maximize your advocacy throughout the process from sexual rights advocates who are already participating in the UPR
A guide to navigate your country’s UPR cycle so that you can decide how and when to engage

We hope that you will find this publication useful for your advocacy and your feedback would be welcome. If you have never heard of the UPR, we hope this publication will convince you of the value of your participation.

NOTES: The toolkit was authored by Meghan Doherty (SRI), Stuart Halford (IPPF) and Sandeep Prasad (SRI). The toolkit is currently available only in English but is being translated into SPANISH, FRENCH and ARABIC. Translated versions will soon be available. Once translation is complete, the toolkit will be available in all languages on a CD ROM.

For further information please contact Meghan Doherty meghan@acpd.ca or Stuart Halford shalford@ippf.org.

THE SEXUAL RIGHTS INITIATIVE (SRI) is a coalition of organizations that has been advocating for sexual rights at the Human Rights Council since 2006 and includes Action Canada for Population and Development (Canada), Akahatá (Argentina), CREA (India), Coalition of African Lesbians (South Africa), Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (Egypt) and Federation for Women and Family Planning (Poland).

THE INTERNATIONAL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. IPPF is a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals.

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

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

INTRODUCTION

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

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

FOLLOW UP TO THE PREVIOUS REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

Read full report @ AI_2_Philippines104 UPR 13th session

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

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

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

Read more

Basic facts about the Universal Periodic Review

Basic facts about the UPR


What is the Universal Periodic Review?

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

How was the UPR established?

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

What is the goal of the UPR?

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

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

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

Who conducts the review?

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

What are the reviews based on?

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

How are the reviews conducted?

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

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

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

What human rights obligations are addressed?

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

What is the outcome of the review?

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

How is the review adopted?

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

What steps are taken as follow up to the review?

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

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

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

Source: www.ohchr.org

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