The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) congratulates the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), on its 25th year of service. While it is a human rights institution a year younger than PAHRA, both are rooted in and born out of the struggles of peoples against Martial Law and the Marcos dictatorship.
It is heartening that in celebrating its silver anniversary, it is launching also “Top-Level Policy Dialogues”. We do need to craft public policies that apply the cross-cutting principles of human rights to advance human rights and to fill in gaps used to perpetuate impunity.
We recall that the World Conference of Human Rights held in Vienna, 1993, in its Declaration and Program of Action, included the imperative to establish public policies that address human rights. In fact, in paragraph 69, it is stated that the United Nations is to assist States to reinforce national structures to effectively do so. And to further boost moves that would create a culture of human rights, States are to develop national action plans on human rights (par. 71).
PAHRA, as a human rights formation from civil society, thus declares its commitment of support to this endeavor. We look forward to HR-focused public policies that are compliant with international human rights standards and characterized to empower people. In short, we ensure the participation of civil society in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of these policies. All parties involved, therefore, should make certain the substantive, not just symbolic and/or decorative, participation of civil society.
We look forward, among others, to policies that would, with due diligence,:
cultivate a culture wherein human rights are preferred values so as to hasten, among others, the paradigm shift of the security forces. We hope that such policies include the review and enhancement of their human rights education and training which also adds the teaching of their histories from a human rights perspective.
hasten the operationalization of the National Monitoring Mechanism (NMM) which converges with the Civil Society-People’s Intervention and Monitoring Mechanism (CSO-PIMM).
Finally, we reiterate that we are enthused and determined to converge with all forces committed to making public policies that enhance human dignity.
Once again, our sincerest congratulations to the CHR for its 25 years of promoting and defending human rights.
Thank you for inviting PAHRA be a part of this launch for “Top-Level Policy Dialogues”.