Today is: Sun, May 19, 2013
USAID funding for the promotion and protection of human rights is creating greater understanding in the judiciary and among human rights organizations of recently issued additional legal remedies that allow human rights victims to seek justice. USAID is working with the Commission on Human Rights to strengthen monitoring and investigation capabilities. USAID is also strengthening the capacity of hundreds of prosecutors and judges to prosecute and adjudicate human rights cases, particularly those involving extra-legal killings and enforced disappearances.
Strengthening Human Rights in the Philippines Project
The promotion and protection of human rights is an important issue in the Philippines. In the last seven years, there has been a resurgence of political killings, assassinations of journalists and other forms of human rights violations in the country. Varying estimates, depending on the source, put the number of persons killed for their political beliefs anywhere from more than one hundred to almost a thousand during this period. Compounding the problem is the general sense of impunity for the perpetrators. To date, very few violators have been convicted of extra-legal killings or enforced disappearances of political activists. While the best deterrent to human rights violations is the fair and full enforcement of the law, the State’s capacity to prosecute and convict violators is hampered by a range of factors that include: overloaded judges and prosecutors with little or no training in handling human rights cases, weak investigations, lack of evidence, and the lack or unwillingness of witnesses to come forward.
The Strengthening Human Rights in the Philippines Project, implemented by the Asia Foundation (TAF), aims to combat impunity by supporting efforts to ensure that accountability measures for handling human rights violations are set in place. The project works with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and civil society organizations to strengthen their capabilities to monitor, document and publicize human rights abuses. The project works with media to raise public awareness and promote a culture that does not condone human rights abuses. Finally, the project supports initiatives to ensure that human rights cases will be properly investigated, prosecuted, and adjudicated. This integrated approach will also explore the use of alternative civil and administrative remedies available under existing laws to enforce victims’ rights. In summary, the project will have three objectives: 1) Promote respect for and observance of human rights and freedoms; 2) Protect human rights of citizens through improved monitoring of violations; and 3) Promote prosecution of human rights violations through capacity building for better investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of cases. In promoting and protecting human rights, the SHRP Project will help to eliminate the culture of impunity and restore public confidence in the administration of justice.
The project organizes and supports capacity building activities for the CHR, the Philippine judiciary, Department of Justice, human rights organizations and media including in the areas of forensic investigations, human rights laws, human rights monitoring and documentation, and human rights reporting. The project also supports the development of human rights action plans and the formation of multi-sectoral quick reaction teams in regions that have a high incidence of human rights violations such as Central and Southern Luzon, the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, and Mindanao, particularly the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The Asia Foundation
36 Lapu-Lapu St., Magallanes Avenue, Makati City
DEMOCRACY and GOVERNANCE
- Success Stories
- Electoral Reform
- Judicial Reform and the Rule of Law
- Local Governance and Conflict Resolution
- Human Rights