Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Philippines (A/HRC/44/22)

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I. Introduction

  1. In its resolution 41/2, the Human Rights Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines and to present it at its forty-fourth session.1

  2. This report presents an overview of the current human rights situation in the Philippines, guided by concerns highlighted in the preamble of Council resolution 41/2. It considers critical, ongoing issues, particularly where there are indications of long-standing, systematic causes underpinning them. In establishing trends and patterns, the report examines data since 2015 where possible, while also taking into account relevant developments prior to that.

  3. The report is based on information collected and analysed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), including through a public call for submissions. By 31 January 2020, OHCHR had received 893 written submissions, including joint submissions. These included 793 individually signed template-based letters. The Government of the Philippines provided substantial written input, including in response to two extensive lists of questions. OHCHR has also analysed official data and documents from governmental and non-governmental sources, including legislation, policy guidelines, court documents, police reports, videos, photos and open source reports, all used to corroborate information, along with interviews with victims and witnesses, remotely and in person. All sources were guaranteed confidentiality and are not named unless they provided specific consent.

  4. OHCHR has had several exchanges with representatives of the Government of the Philippines, including detailed discussions on 13 and 14 February 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    OHCHR is grateful to the Government for its openness to dialogue. OHCHR did not receive permission from the Government to conduct a visit to the Philippines.