PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
CHR WILL MONITOR GOVERNMENT ON UPR RECOMMENDATIONS,
CALLS FOR FULL MEMBERSHIP AND FISCAL INDEPENDENCE
9 June 2008, Geneva
The Commission on Human Rights sees it has a special role “to ensure that the Philippine government will fulfill its human rights obligations in accordance with the recommendations arising from the outcome of” the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). But for it to fulfill this role, the CHR needs to have financial independence and a full complement of Commissioners.
These are the main messages that the CHR will deliver to the U.N. Human Rights Council during the session on the UPR final outcome document on the Philippines in Geneva on Tuesday, 10 June.
CHR Chairperson Leila M. de Lima is scheduled to speak after the statements of the Philippine government’s and member and observer countries of the Council, but before statements from civil society organizations. (full statement attached)
According to an advance copy of the statement, the CHR “supports and encourages the Philippine Government in its commitment to accord the highest priority to the protection and promotion of human rights.”
The CHR will also call on government to:
• “ nurture an Independent CHRP and ensure its fiscal autonomy. One threat to our independence is the current practice of limiting CHRP’s application of its savings as per a presidential veto message on our annual appropriations; “
• “fill the vacant posts for the three other members of the Commission without delay; “
• “certify as priority to Congress the proposed CHRP Charter to attune the Commission to the demands of the human rights situation on the ground;“
• “to restore representation of Civil Society in the Presidential Human Rights Committee”.
Accompanied by Commissioner Cecilia R.V. Quisumbing and Director Karen G. Dumpit, the CHR Chair will also underline the importance of international human rights treaties.
“We look forward to the ratification of the OPCAT, the Rome Statute and the ASEAN Charter in which a regional human rights body shall be established,” says de Lima’s statement.
“We urge Government to sign the Convention against Enforced Disappearance as well as to actively participate in the adoption of an Optional Protocol to the IC-ESCR.”
The UN Human Rights Council is currently holding its 8th regular session, from 2 – 20 June in Geneva, Switzerland.
This is the first international interaction of the two members of the 4th Commission on Human Rights. The CHRP has so far made interventions on the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Philip Alston and joined statements with other independent national rights institutions, including Germany, France, Mexico, and Morocco) on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and supporting the draft Optional Protocol on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (for individual complaints).