Philippines: Increased awareness on international humanitarian law pushed by PNRC

There is an ongoing demand to propagate and continue awareness of the public and media regarding international human law (IHL).

This has been the consensus regarding the most urgent task of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) partner agencies during their meeting held at the Bayview Hotel, Manila on October 22, 2008.

The group also agreed that there is a need to institutionalize and strengthen the legal framework for IHL.

The meeting, which is being held annually, was attended by almost 50 representatives from PNRC's partner agencies, among which are the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Supreme Court (SC), House of Representatives' Committee on Justice (HoRCJ), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DoH), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and many others.

Justice Leonor Ines Luciano, PNRC Chairperson of the IHL Committee, said that the participants shall reflect on the presentation from different agencies such as from the PNRC, ICRC, AFP, HOR, SC and DSWD and list down priorities and needs of the victims of armed conflicts and propose activities to address identified concerns particularly on the promotion of IHL and policy lobbying and protection of victims of armed conflict in Mindanao.

For the HoR, Justice Committee Secretariat Head Atty. Narcisa Guevarra said that the 14th Congress is working on to pass the IHL Bill pending before the Justice Committee since the 12th Congress (2003). She encouraged the PNRC and ICRC to continue pushing for the same bill or ask the President to certify the IHL Bill as a priority.