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CHR wants gov’t to renew UN human rights program

By Business World April 9, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

THE PHILIPPINE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday pushed the renewal of the United Nations Joint Program (UNJP) to put pressure on the government to improve the country’s human rights situation.

“We would prefer a continuation of the partnership by extending the UNJP,” Rachel Pelayo from the CHR’s Strategic Communication Division said in a Viber message.

The program will end in July.

The CHR wants to take advantage of the program’s technical capacity-building efforts to address extrajudicial killings that stemmed from ex-President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s deadly the war on drugs. Human Rights Council resolution 45/33 approved in 2020 cleared the way for a more active United Nations (UN) presence in the Philippines through and human rights-related capacity-building initiatives.

“The strategic framework of the UNJP envisions to broaden the human rights-based approaches amongst duty-bearers, strengthen domestic accountability mechanisms which address human rights violations and abuses, and ensure that rights holders, especially victims, are able to be afforded better means to claim their rights,” the CHR said in a statement.

The Philippines and the UN established the UNJP on human rights in 2021 to promote national initiatives and institutional frameworks in six areas through capacity-building and technical cooperation, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs website. 

The Department of Justice (DoJ) and UN resident coordinator headed a multi-stakeholder steering committee that brought together representatives from donor nations, the CHR, various Philippine agencies, civil society groups and UN agencies to oversee the program.

Carlos D. Sorreta, the Philippine permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, on April 5 said they would establish a human rights coordinating council to sustain and broaden achievements under the UNJP.

“We will continue to work with our international partners bilaterally, as we had done even before the UNJP, in order to maximize resources and ensure efficiency,” he said. “We will continue to actively engage civil society, in line with the Filipino people’s established tradition of civic participation and activism.” — Chloe Mari A. Hufana


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