07/11/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/11/2019 11:13
Responding to the UN Human Rights Council voting in favour of a resolution to monitor and report on the vital human rights situation in the Philippines - including unlawful killings in the 'war on drugs' - Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International's Regional Southeast Asia Director, said:
'This vote provides hope for thousands of bereaved families in the Philippines, and countless more Filipinos bravely challenging the Duterte administration's murderous 'war on drugs'. It's a crucial step towards justice and accountability.
'The Philippines has failed to hold those responsible to account at home. The Human Rights Council resolution sends a clear message that the international community will not look the other way as extrajudicial executions and other serious violations continue to be committed with impunity.
'We urge the Philippines to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Office leading the investigation, and take urgent measures to halt the brutal killings that have become the hallmark of the Duterte administration's campaign. If they do not, the Council may take further and more robust action.
'From here on, pressure on the architects of the government's murderous policies will only grow stronger.'
Resolution passes following years of campaigning
Earlier today, the UN Human Rights Council voted in favour of a resolution, tabled by Iceland, requesting that the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights provide a detailed report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines, and for it to be presented to and discussed by the Human Rights Council at its 44th session. The resolution passed with 18 votes in favour, 14 against and 15 abstentions.
The resolution follows years of campaigning by national and international civil society groups, including Amnesty. It follows calls for such an investigation from the UN's human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, and a group of 11 UN independent human rights experts.