EU affirms support for human rights, democracy

Published December 4, 2020, 6:08 PM

by Roy Mabasa

In commemoration of Human Rights Day on December 10, the European Union (EU) has reiterated its commitment to support human rights and democracy in the Philippines, especially during this pandemic.


EU Delegation to the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Wiersing announced that together with the EU member states’ embassies, the EU Delegation will mark the Human Rights Day with different events addressing a wide variety of challenges and highlighting that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and in rights.

“The EU’s mantra has always been to ensure that no one is left behind and no human right is ignored. And the EU family in the Philippines showcases this message in celebration of the Human Rights Day,” the EU Delegation said in a statement on Friday.

The Delegation cited the importance of the year 2020 as “a special year in the EU work on human rights.”

Last November 19, the Third EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2020-2024) was adopted, providing for a renewed political roadmap that sets the priorities for positioning the EU as a geostrategic and credible global actor seeking to defend EU values and interests. 

On December 7, 2020, the EU Council is set to adopt another milestone – the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime. This regime sends a strong political message as the EU will be able to stand up for human rights ever more forcefully.

In the Philippines, the EU’s human rights country strategy focuses on fighting impunity and promoting rule of law; prevention and eradication of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, including death penalty; supporting an evidence-based approach to the fight against illegal drugs; supporting human rights defenders and journalists and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples, internally displaced people, women and children and the fight against human trafficking. 

Its new Action Plan for 2020-2024 centers on long-standing priorities such as supporting human rights defenders and the fight against the death penalty.

The EU, along with its member states, vowed to use the full range of their instruments, in all areas of external action, to focus on and further strengthen EU’s global leadership in the field of human rights and democracy and in the implementation of the EU Action Plan.

Human Rights Day is observed on the 10th of December of every year, the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.