PH to receive UN funds to help curb ‘human rights violations’

Published June 1, 2021, 10:16 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is set to provide funds over a three-year period to the Philippine government to help curb reported human rights violations particularly those allegedly committed during illegal drugs operations.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Tuesday, June 1, said “the Philippine government, led by the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and the DOJ, has completed its negotiations with the UN regarding the joint program on technical cooperation on human rights.”

“Funding will be provided by the UN over a three-year period, subject to Philippines’ compliance with certain measurable outputs,” he said.

“This joint program arose from the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council pertaining to the Philippines last year,” he explained.

In the meantime, Guevarra said “the project document will be circulated to other concerned government agencies for their respective endorsements, and we are scheduling a briefing for the diplomatic community on this matter.”

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) issued in October 2020 a resolution on technical cooperation and capacity-building for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines.

The UNHRC said the resolution “requests the High Commissioner and the Office of the High Commissioner, with a view to improving further the situation of human rights in the Philippines, to provide support for the country in its continued fulfilment of its international human rights obligations and commitments, taking into account the proposed United Nations joint programme on human rights to provide technical assistance and capacity-building for, inter alia, domestic investigative and accountability measures, data gathering on alleged police violations, civic space and engagement with civil society and the Commission on Human Rights, national mechanism for reporting and follow-up, counter-terrorism legislation, and human rights-based approaches to drug control.”

“The Council urges Member States, relevant United Nations agencies and other stakeholders to encourage and support technical cooperation between the Government of the Philippines and the Office of the High Commissioner with a view to improving the situation of human rights in the country in response to the Government’s requests for technical assistance and capacity-building,” the resolution also stated.

Published reports stated that prior the issuance of the resolution, the OHCHR cited that in 2020 that it found “widespread and systematic” killings in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs which was being done without regard to the rule of law.