CHR: Duterte government lagged behind enforcing proposals in 2017 UN rights review

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Filipino activists hold a rally in observance of Human Rights Day, in Manila, Philippines, December 10, 2020. The Commission on Human Rights revealed that only 12% of the 257 recommendations of the United Nations were accomplished by the previous Duterte government. (Photo: REUTERS/Lisa Marie David)
Filipino activists hold a rally in observance of Human Rights Day, in Manila, Philippines, December 10, 2020. The Commission on Human Rights revealed that only 12% of the 257 recommendations of the United Nations were accomplished by the previous Duterte government. (Photo: REUTERS/Lisa Marie David)

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) bared that measly 12% of the 257 recommendations of the United Nations (UN) Periodic Review (UPR) were implemented by the Duterte administration.

“Out of the 257 recommendations given to the Philippines, there [have] been varying levels in terms of compliance or implementation,” Atty. Jacqueline de Guia, CHR’s Executive Director, said in a press conference on Thursday (August 12), as the country prepares for another UN human rights review by the last quarter this year,

“We do note that 12% of the 257 recommendations have been fully implemented, [another] 12% were partially implemented with some progress, and 21% were technically implemented, while 2% were not implemented, and then 53% were not supported in the last four years,” de Guia added.

According to de Guia, “fully implemented” means that legislations were passed supporting the recommendations by the UN Periodic Review and the law is being implemented or enforced, while “technically implemented” means that bills were filed and passed but have yet to show any significant improvement to the recommended areas.

“So in terms of those fully implemented, they have actually come up with laws, have actually respected and protected those human rights pertaining to the specific recommendations. For those 12% partially implemented there may have been some policies but there still remains to be some improvements that can be attributed in terms of implementation,” de Guia said.

Meanwhile, for the 21% “technically implemented,” there have been laws that were passed supporting and advocating for human rights but the implementation is lagging behind.

“We have been passing a lot of human rights-based laws during the recent years but in terms of implementation, that is where improvement is noted and we encourage the government of course to make sure that there’s continuing adherence to those laws,” de Guia said.

And for the remaining 53% not supported by the government, it means that either the government rejects the recommendation, or have been noted but deemed unnecessary to take action on it.

The UPR is a standard in which the UN checks the human rights situation in every country. The review is done every five years.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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