15.08.17

Dramatic rise in human rights violations in the Philippines

On 31 July three UN human rights experts released a joint declaration calling on the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to take action on the increasing human rights abuses in the country. Their declaration was welcomed by the Philippines human rights group, KARAPATAN, which has documented 68 cases of politically motivated killings, 842 cases of illegal arrest and 42, 894 cases of threat, harassment and intimidation since Duterte came to power in June 2016. Duterte’s declaration of martial law on the island of Mindanao in May with the intention of ending terrorist attacks in Marawi City carried out by the Maute Group, said to be affiliated to Daesh, has led to increasing numbers of extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests, rape and bombing of communities with some 45 civilian causalities and massive destruction to farms and property.

Action Solidarité Tiers Monde and its partners were particularly shocked to learn that 200 students from the indigenous Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), who had had to evacuate from their villages in 2015 after the murder of their head teacher and community leaders, had had to flee their villages once again after bomber planes were seen circling their areas. In March 2016 Michele Campos, whose father had been killed in the attack on their community in 2015, visited ASTM and shared her experiences.

Official Joint Declaration of three UN human rights experts*
(*) The experts: Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Press release of Karapatan ” Karapatan welcomes UN expertes’ statement on “spiraling right violations” in PH

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