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[HRC47 Civil Society Side Event] Authorizing the assault on the poor and active citizens in the Philippines

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Date: Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Time: 12 AM – 1.30 PM (CEST) / 5 PM – 6.30 PM (ICT) / 6 PM – 7.30 PM (PHT)

Venue: Zoom / Live from PAHRA social media



In June 2020, the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights released a comprehensive report which reveals that there is “widespread human rights violations and persistent impunity” in the Philippines. The report found also highlighted four key patterns of violations including the threats to the democratic space. During the 45th session of the Human Rights Council in September 2020, the United Nations adopted a resolution focused on offering technical assistance (HRC Resolution 45/L.38) to address the human rights crisis.

One year later, the repression through various laws and policies, and killings of human rights defenders, activists, journalists, lawyers and known critics continues. The phenomenon known as red-tagging has become more rampant and government officials became more emboldened.

Recently, the outgoing International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor requested to proceed with its investigation finding “a reasonable basis that a crime against humanity had been committed” in the Philippines. The ICC prosecutor’s request may bring a big impact to the lobby efforts conducted by human rights organisations to urge the Human Rights Council in launching an independent and impartial investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Organised by Franciscans International, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Fastenopfer and FORUM-ASIA, this UN side event at HRC47 aims to:

  • Discuss how the human rights violations in the Philippines have intensified and become multi-faceted,
  • Discuss how the gravest human rights violations have been perpetrated by the President’s and the State’s standing and prevailing orders,
  • Gather support towards accountability through an independent international investigation into the rights violations in the Philippines


  • Dr. Nymia Pimentel Simbulan, Executive Director, Philippine Human Rights Center (PhilRights)
  • Joseph Purugganan, Head, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement  (iDEFEND)
  • Atty. Gilbert Andres, Deputy Executive Director, The Center for International Law (CENTERLAW)
  • Rowena Legaspi, Executive Director, Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC)

Media contact:

  • For more information or to set up an interview with any of the speakers, please contact Melissa Ananthraj, Communication and Media Programme Manager, FORUM-ASIA at [email protected]

About the organisers:

  • The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a Bangkok-based regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu.
  • Franciscans International (FI) is a non-profit, international non-governmental human rights organisation established in 1989. Its staff consists of professionals of diverse backgrounds working to translate grassroots voices in human rights advocacy action at the United Nations level. Franciscans International seeks to promote and protect human rights and environmental justice. www.
  • Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) is a non-stock, non-profit alliance duly registered under the laws of the Philippines. It is one of the major human rights formations and one of the leading voices in human rights advocacy in the Philippines.
  • Fastenopfer (Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund) promotes social, cultural, economic and individual changes in order to foster dynamics of transformation towards a sustainable way of life. It collaborate with local organizations in 14 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is also involved in Switzerland and internationally.