Press Statement | 10 June 2014

PH rights group raises HR issues before the UN anew

The Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (EcuVoice), a network of human rights defenders and faith-based institutions, will be participating in the 26th sessions of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland from June 10 to 17, 2014.

The group aims to raise before the Council the pressing human rights concerns in the Philippines, including the continuing detention and injustice against Andrea Rosal and all political prisoners, bombings and forced evacuation due to military operations of indigenous communities especially in the Mindanao region, attacks on lawyers and other human rights defenders, and the Aquino administration’s incompetence in addressing the needs of typhoon Yolanda victims, among so many others.

The EcuVoice delegation is composed of Cristina Palabay, secretary general of human rights group Karapatan; Atty. Edre U. Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL); Rev. Irma Balaba, assistant programme secretary of the Christian Unity and Ecumenical Relations programme of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines; Sister Stella Matutina of Panalipdan Mindanao;  and Dr. Angie Gonzales, Atty. Kristerie Baleva and Julie Palaganas of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines.

The delegation is set to deliver oral interventions, meet with Geneva-based State missions and UN mandate holders and international NGOs. It will also speak in side events to raise the plight of Andrea Rosal and all political prisoners; the military operations and the entry of mining companies in indigenous communities in Talaingod, Davao del Norte and other parts of Mindanao; the worsening poverty and conditions in typhoon Haiyan-affected areas; the privatization of public hospitals; and on the increasing attacks against human rights defenders through killings and filing of fabricated charges against them.

Prof. Philip Alston, recently appointed as UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Ms. Gabriela Knaul, UN special rapporteur on independence of judges and lawyers, and Ms. Virginia Dandan, UN special rapporteur on international solidarity and human rights, are also scheduled to meet the delegation.

The delegation will also follow-up on the status of the complaints or communications filed before the special procedures of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, including those filed by Mrs. Edith Burgos before the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (WGEID) and by Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas before the UN Committee against Torture.

The delegation is a follow-up engagement to the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines in 2012 and the review of the Philippine government’s compliance to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international human rights instruments.###



Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General | c/o +41774559698

Edre U. Olalia, NUPL Secretary General | c/o +41779773999

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