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FORUM-ASIA Training on Human Rights and Elections, Davao City, the Philippines, 29-30 March 2016

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The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its members Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) will co-organise a training on human rights and elections in Davao City, Mindanao, the Philippines, from 29-30 March 2016. The two-day training will aim to develop a human rights framework in relation to 2016 elections in the Philippines, by introducing procedural processes, human rights concepts and international standards related to elections to civil society groups in Mindanao, who will potentially observe and document human rights violations in electoral contexts.


For the upcoming national elections in May 2016, 30 civil society organisations from election monitoring and human rights sectors, in collaboration with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines, came together to form a group called ‘Bantay Karapatan Sa Halalan’ (BKH). The group aims to develop a human rights framework in relation to the 2016 elections, providing a platform to document human rights violations in the country during the polls, tackle impunity and prosecute election law violators.

FORUM-ASIA has been highlighting the significance of human rights in an electoral context through workshops and trainings in Indonesia in 2014, Sri Lanka and Burma/Myanmar in 2015 by referring to the 2013 annual report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai and the 2014 report of UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue as international standards. These two reports by the UN Special Rapporteurs demonstrate the centrality of freedoms of expression, assembly and association in elections, and that the major issues of concern relating to elections goes beyond electoral technicality and procedure.