Tag Archives: UPR

[In the news] HR watchdog: Phl makes little progress against rights violations – PhilStar.com

HR watchdog: Phl makes little progress against rights violations
By Pia Lee-Brago, The Philippine Star
January 03, 2012

 MANILA, Philippines – The New York-based Human Rights Watch said yesterday that the Aquino administration has made little progress in addressing impunity for serious human rights violations despite promises of reform.

Following the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) submission, the human rights watchdog pointed to impunity for unexplained killings and enforced disappearances, “private armies” and state-backed militias, violations of international humanitarian law, “death squads,” sexual and reproductive rights and migrant workers’ rights as among the country’s main concerns.

Scrutiny of the Philippines is part of the UPR, a new UN mechanism used in assessing the human rights record of all United Nations member states.

The human rights watchdog said unexplained killings of leftist activists and petty criminals continue, with the government failing to address involvement by security forces and local officials.

Human Rights Watch said the Philippines is a multiparty democracy with an elected president and legislature, a thriving civil society sector, and a vibrant media, “but several key institutions including the civilian and military justice systems remain weak, and the military and police still commit human rights violations with impunity.”

In the previous UPR in 2008, the Philippines committed to implement recommendation 6 to “completely eliminate torture and extrajudicial killings” and to “intensify its efforts to carry out investigations and prosecutions on extrajudicial killings and punish those responsible.”

Read full article @ www.philstar.com

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

by Dr. Boyet Mabunga

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


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

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read full article @ renatomabunga.wordpress.com

[Event] CSOs and CHR Consultation on the Universal Periodic Review


CSOs and CHR Consultation on the Universal Periodic Review

Date:  November 8, 2011
Time:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Venue:  CHR Multi Purpose Hall
3rd Floor, CHR Office

The submission of the stakeholders (including CSOs and NHRIs) report to the 2nd cycle of the Universal periodic Review (UPR) is fast approaching, Nov. 28, 2011. The Commission on Human Rights thru the Office of GovLink and PAHRA-Philrights who are spearheading a joint submission for several CSOs deemed that a consultation would be  important to:

1.     To revisit the significance of the UPR in HR promotion and protection

2.     To review UPR Guidelines for the 2nd cycle and respective roles of NHRIs and CSOs

3.     To present the CHR and CSO independent submissions

4.     To identify issues of common concerns and unique findings on the implementation of recommendations by government

5.     To strategize and optimize the respective roles of NHRIs and CSOs and lobby work  in ensuring more meaningful recommendations to the Philippine government for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights of all Filipinos

RSVP:  Rose 0906-553-1792
Bernie 0927-424-1551

Rose Trajano
Acting Secretary General
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
53-B Maliksi St. Bgy. Pinyahan
Quezon City, Philippines (1100)
Tel/fax (632) 436-26-33
Mobile : 0906-553-1792
E-mail:  pahra@philippinehumanrights.org
Fb account: philippinehumanrights

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