UN: ICJ stresses lack of accountability for human rights violations in the Philippines

The ICJ expressed concern today at the lack of accountabiltiy for human rights violations occurring in the Philippines, before the UN Human Rights Council.

The statement reads as follows:

“Madam President,

The ICJ welcomes the oral update of the High Commissioner. The ICJ condemns the official blacklisting or labeling of human rights defenders, lawyers and other individuals deemed to be critics by government officials as “terrorists” (known as “red-tagging”) often without substantial proof. This practice has led to killings of some human rights defenders by unknown assailants shortly after being “red-tagged”.

The failure to conduct impartial and thorough investigations into the killings of such human rights defenders, or of those killed in the context of the so-called “war on drugs”, show that an international investigation into these widespread violations is warranted. We express concern that the UN Joint Programme on human rights, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 45/33, only emphasizes “technical cooperation and capacity-building”, and does not address the lack of political will to end impunity in the Philippines, as the past five years have shown.

As the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court commences investigation of the killings arising from the “war on drugs,”, the ICJ reminds the Philippine Government of its duty to cooperate with the Court in accordance with Article 127 of the Rome Statute, despite the Philippine’s denunciation of the treaty in 2019.

We urge the Council to monitor the implementation of genuine accountability reforms in the Philippines.

I thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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