31 May 2019
ASSESSMENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN THE PHILIPPINES AGAINST OBJECTIVE CRITERIA FOR ACTION BY THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
The preamble to Amnesty’s summary of the findings of its assessment states the following:
This document assesses the human rights situation in the Philippines against UN Human Rights Council objective criteria for deciding when the HRC should engage in situations of concern. The document shows that nearly all of the criteria are met, and calls on states to take meaningful action at the 41st session of the HRC in June 2019.
The full report can be read by clicking on the link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/ior40/0466/2019/en/
CHRP UK offers this response to the Amnesty International report:
The summary report by Amnesty puts the significance of the establishment of a legal methodology based on the application of ‘objective criteria … in the context of the murderous anti-human rights Duterte regime in the Philippines.
The purpose of the ‘objective criteria methodology is to “help [the Human Rights Council] decide, in an objective and non-selective manner, when the Council should usefully engage with a concerned State, to prevent, respond to, or address violations and to assist in de-escalation of a situation of concern.’ Initiated by Ireland and a cross regional grouping in 2016 further support has come from three other regional groups.
The Amnesty report sets out how the conclusions reached by the application of the UNHRC’s objective criteria approach demonstrates that the Philippines government is not taking action to halt the well-documented and widespread gross violation of human rights in the Philippines and has no intention of doing so. Instead it continues to threaten and attack human rights defenders and deny entry to UN officials while at the same time issuing “blanket denials” of any violation of human rights. In March 2019 after having been challenged on the matter of extra-judicial killings the Philippines withdrew from participation in the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the effect that “the ICC will not be able to receive or seek evidence of alleged violations nor examine alleged violations that occurred after that date.” This is Duterte’s strategy: commit the crime; deny there is a crime; persecute and murder those, including the media, who challenge his actions; and withdraw from the international bodies that have the authority to intervene. Nevertheless, due to the outcome of its analysis, “Amnesty International calls on States, especially those that joined the HRC32 statement and/or subsequent joint statements reaffirming them, to take meaningful action to address the situation in the Philippines at the 41st regular session of the Human Rights Council, by launching an investigation into human rights violations committed in the context of the “war on drugs”. Such action is long overdue.”