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Panel Discussion – 3rd Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines, 8 May 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

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The Philippines will undergo its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 08 May 2017 at a time when its continuously deteriorating human rights situation is under significant international scrutiny. Over 8,000 cases of extrajudicial killings have been recorded in the country over the past year under the current administration’s so-called ‘war on drugs’. Impunity for perpetrators and lack of justice and accountability for these deaths persist. The Philippine House of Representatives has voted in favour of restoring the death penalty, pending approval from the Senate. There are also proposals to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility. The President continues to make statements supporting such killings[1], and that dehumanise and incite violence against people who use drugs, engendering the persistence of extrajudicial killings. He has also openly made threats against human rights defenders[2], lawyers who support families of victims of extrajudicial killings, the church, and journalists.

Immediately following the Philippines UPR, this side event aims to deliver Philippine human rights defenders’ perspectives on current challenges in the human rights situation in the country, and call for international support for the Philippines to abide by its human rights obligations under the UPR and as an elected member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.


  • Budit Carlos, Philippine Alliance for Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
  • Egay Cabalitan, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
  • Jigs Clamor, KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
  • Sammy Gamboa, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippine Human Rights Information Center
  • Rowena Legaspi, Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC)
  • Nilda Sevilla, Families of Victims of Enforced Disappearance (FIND)


John Fisher, Human Rights Watch

The panel discussion will take place on Monday 8 May 2017, 12:30 – 14:30, Room XXIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland