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Home Statement BAYAN statement on the upcoming UN UPR session on the Philippines in Geneva

BAYAN statement on the upcoming UN UPR session on the Philippines in Geneva

BAYAN statement on the upcoming UN UPR session on the Philippines in Geneva

The Philippine government should listen to the recommendations and criticisms of the international community instead of denying that human rights violations exist in the Philippines. The Filipino people and the whole world are aware of the human rights crisis in the Philippines. It’s only the Philippine government who refuses to see and in fact has actively covered up this reality.

The upcoming Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations in November 2022 is an important opportunity to hold accountable the Philippine government for gross and systemic human rights violations of the past 6 years – from the bloody war on drugs, the vicious counter-insurgency drive up to the failed pandemic response and worsening economic crisis. The review conducted by UN member-states, under the Human Rights Council, is a way of examining the track record of the Philippines, holding it accountable to its treaty obligations and pushing for positive recommendations that will ultimately benefit the Filipino people.

The UPR is important to ordinary Filipinos because it represents a chance to improve the catastrophic human rights situation in the Philippines, from Duterte to Marcos. For example, member-states are expected to provide recommendations on how to improve the administration of justice and the investigation of rights abuses, as well as policies that seek to safeguard the economic, social and cultural rights of the people.

Issues such as red-tagging, extrajudicial killings, the anti-terror law, peace talks, low wages, health and education have all figured in discussions in the UPR, in large part due to the submissions of the different human rights organizations and social movements.

The UPR is not foreign intervention, contrary to what the apologists of the regime will claim. The Philippines is a party to this mechanism being a UN member. The Filipino people should welcome such an opportunity, especially since the domestic legal remedies and venues for redress of grievances are constantly diminishing or have proven ineffective.

We look forward to the UPR session on the Philippines on Monday, November 14. We hope for the best as we seek to hold the Philippine government accountable for the widespread abuses and demand that human rights be respected and upheld in the Philippines.