The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Thursday, Sept. 16, commended the Philippine government for its commitment to extend humanitarian assistance to displaced Afghans and for opening the country’s doors to refugees fleeing Afghanistan.
After the Taliban took over Afghanistan last August, thousands of Afghans scrambled to flee their country out of fear of the group, which in the past demonstrated violence against women.
Recently, the Taliban announced an all-male interim government for Afghanistan.
The Philippine government was also lauded for its pledge during the United Nation’s flash appeal to extend financial aid for humanitarian response in the now Taliban-controlled country.
“As it has done in the past, the Philippine government’s openness to welcome forcibly displaced individuals from conflict-stricken nations, such as Afghanistan, has been consistent with its obligation as a State Party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocol—the international document that protects the rights of refugees,” Jacqueline Ann de Guia, CHR spokesperson, said in a statement
In 1934, former the late former President Manuel L. Quezon opened the country’s doors to 1,300 European Jews — from Germany and Austria — fleeing the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler on the eve of the Holocaust.
According to CHR, the international community has the responsibility to step in to ensure that affected individuals’ rights and physical safety are protected when governments are unwilling or fail to guarantee the basic human rights of its citizens.
“While we respect the national sovereignty of States, the CHR asserts that all human beings, within or outside their country’s borders, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to be assured recognition of their human rights, including access to services needed to realize those rights,” De Guia noted.
“This is regardless of their migratory status and in accordance with the common good and international law,” she said.
At the same time, the CHR recognized the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in ensuring the safe repatriation of Filipinos dwelling in Afghanistan.
“[We hope] to see an end to the hostilities in Afghanistan while also emphasizing the need to focus on durable solutions for all, particular for those in vulnerable situations such as separated and unaccompanied children, women at risk, or those otherwise unsafe on the move, or unable to return safely to their country of origin,” De Guia said.