The Pact for Peace and Human Rights Protection for the 2010 National Elections and Beyond

 
 

Iboto sa 2010:  Kapayapaan at Karapatan

PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARE IN YOUR HANDS! 

Filipinos can only enjoy the kind of life they deserve and aspire for when there is peace in the country, when human rights are respected, protected promoted and fulfilled.  This takes action from everyone is every sector.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR),  in partnership with the civil society group called the Advocates for a Peace Covenant, are trying to educate the electorate and the candidates,  and focus voters’ attention on the two overarching issues through the advocacy of a Peace and Human Rights Covenant for political aspirants. 

To this end, the CHR is organizing a forum where presidential candidates can explain to the public and to the media their vision for peace and for human rights. The event is called the  “Peace-and-Human-Rights-Covenant-Advocates Meet the Media” on the 13th of April 2010, at 9:00A.M.-1:00P.M., at the U.P. College of Law, Diliman, Quezon City. 


The slogan for this campaign is
Iboto sa 2010: Kapayapaan at Karapatan.

 

Peace and Human Rights in the future of the Philippines are in the hands of the voters and of the candiates

Voters are urged to think carefully about the candidates, and choose candidates not only on popularity but based on the commitment and vision of the candidates for building peace, ending armed conflict and rebellion while addressing the root causes of such conflict,  and for promoting, protecting and fulfilling human rights.  

Candidates are enjoined to seriously build into their platofrms and programs of action,  concrete plans to bring peace throughout the Philippines  and to ensure that every Filipino is secure in his/her human rights. 

 

Peace and Human Rights are intertwined and essential

 Peace-building and the promotion and protection of human rights are at the heart of  the aspirations of the Filipino people, yet remain among the biggest challenges for the Philippines.

Without peace, we cannot have stability, freedom from fear and freedom from want.  Peace is a cornerstone of progress – economic, social, individual and national growth.

Peace and human rights are not only important for Filipinos, they are intertwined such that one is needed to achieve the other, and vice versa.

Peace is essential for the full enjoyment, respect and protection of human rights.  When there is conflict, the economy is affected, making it difficult for economic rights to be fulfilled.  Social tensions lead to violations of social human rights.  Political and civil rights are affected when parties to conflict decide they can commit violations such as extrajudicial killings and torture in the name of  their missions.  

On the other hand,  human rights respect, protection, promotion and fulfillment is essential to maintain and build peace.

Conflicts often have root causes that are related to human rights, even if the parties do not realize it.  When there is deep and systemic discrimination that deprives one or more group of society of its right to political participation, that group will often resort to armed means. 

Many rebellions are started and continued for causes such as poverty, lack of basic services, lack of access to political participation and decision-making,  abuses of their rights or attacks on their members. 

When an effort is made to fully respect, protect, promote and fulfill all human rights (whether economic, social, cultural, political or civil) that effort helps build towards peace or can prevent conflict. 

 

Government has primary HR responsibility

Government officials and public servants are obligated by law to respect human rights and to promote and fulfill them as they go about their work. 

With human rights comes responsibility.  All of us have the responsibility to respect the human rights of everyone else.  We also have the responsibility to build a society where we all can enjoy our human rights.   

 

April 13: the Candidates Speak

All the Presidential Candidates are invited to participate in the forum.  In addition, they are being asked to state their platforms for human rights and peace  in video interviews which will be shown on April 13. 

The videos will also be available online through this webpage. 

The date, April 13,  was chosen to refocus the attention of the Philippine electorate on key issues on human rights and peace, i.e., after the Holy Week, when the majority of the Filipinos give utmost importance in commemorating the passion and life of Jesus Christ. 

This will be attended and covered by members of the media, with participation from various civil society groups (not only those that work on classic human rights, but representing a variety of sectors),  the academe, government,  international organizations and foreign diplomats.