[Document] Right to Rehabilitation

This Discussion Paper was made and published by REDRESS in 2009 with the purpose of clarifying the reasons why rehabilitation, despite beingexpressly incorporated in different international instruments such as CAT, the ICPPED and the Rome Statute, remains an elusive form of reparation. Certainly, and as is the case with many other rights/obligations under international law, problems of implementation and enforceability are partly the result of lack of political will of states.

                                                                                                                                                              – REDRESS

REDRESS is an international nongovernmental organization committed to obtaining justice for torture survivors. The objectives and working methods they used focus on assisting survivors to pursue and secure legal remedies and developing the means to ensure compliance with international standards, and in particular their right to reparation. REDRESS consider IT fundamental to advance the understanding of the meaning of rehabilitation given that it is a crucial reparation measure for torture survivors and their next of kin.

For more info, visit REDRESS website: http://www.redress.org/


The Right to Rehabilitation


[In the Web] PNoy defends PH human rights situation

President Benigno Aquino III defended the Philippine government’s efforts to improve the human rights situation in the Philippines in an event that was organized by the Egmont Institute, a think-tank group based in Belgium held in Val Deuchess.

The Philippines was the focus of international attention with the spate of killings, disappearances and torture during the Arroyo administration

President Aquino cited the arrest of retired major general Jovito Palparan for his alleged involvement in the forced disappearance of two UP students in 2007 as a proof of his government’s serious efforts to put behind bars those accountable for human rights violations.

“One of the foremost human rights violators or accused, alleged human rights violators, in the person of General Palparan, who used to be a member of our Armed Forces, has recently been arrested and presently incarcerated and undergoing trial,” he said.

He reiterated his government’s commitment to human rights, rule of law and democracy.

However, he pointed out that justice for victims of human rights violations can’t be achieved without reforming the criminal justice system.

“Now, in our system also, the judicial branch is not directly under my office. We operate on three separate branches and, for instance, the so-called Maguindanao massacre is also a source of frustration for the executive department. There are 58 counts of homicide and murder on that particular case and over a hundred accused and we are still in the process of arresting some of the others accused,” he added.

President Aquino is in his four-nation European trip to meet investors from Europe and the US and to promote the Philippines not only as a tourist destination but also as an investment haven, bragging his administration’s gains in putting the economy in the right track.

Courtesy of rappler.com

[Reflection] Torture Rehabilitation should be victim-centered

For human rights advocates, rehabilitation of torture victims is understood as both a right of the victims and a state obligation. It should play an important role in the broader agenda of achieving justice and respect for human rights.

It must be viewed holistically as it goes beyond physical and psychological care and extend to other types of services (legal, social and economic services, e.g. education, employment, housing, etc.), that enable the victims to restore life with dignity and return to life of normalcy.

However, rehabilitation is more than just responding to victims’ basic needs. It must respond to the real impact of violations in victims’ lives and at the same time, it should be given as sincere efforts on the part of the government to acknowledge the human rights violations and to provide concrete measure of justice to those whore rights have been violated.

The participation of the victims and their families in the designing and effective implementation of rehabilitation programs and services is therefore vital. This will ensure that torture rehabilitation is tailored to each victim’s needs and their particular situation while considering the effects of torture and other violations on families, communities and larger society.

Rehabilitation programs should promote individual, family and social healing, recovery and reintegration. This may include restoring cultural practices, traditions and exercising political beliefs without fear. Working only at the individual level is not enough. There is a need to consider rehabilitation beyond the individual level and to look at social dimension of rehabilitation.

In the Philippines, the passage of the RA 9745 or Anti-Torture Law on 2009 and the promulgation of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Program in March 2014, did not make any significant improvement in the human rights situation.

Not only for the fact the torture continues unabated, there is still a lack of adequate rehabilitation measures for torture survivors and their families. While institutional efforts are being undertaken to give flesh and blood to this normative framework, the reality remains that rehabilitation services are not yet readily available for torture victims/survivors in many countries including the Philippines.until now, relevant government agencies still have no clear operational procedure and have no budget line for its implementation.

The participation of victims and their families in addressing the issue of rehabilitation, designing rehabilitation measures and seeing these programs are implemented can contribute powerfully to its success or failure.Nevertheless, there is a need to create enabling conditions for victims’ participation that would allow victims to feel that they are valued and recognized as rights-holders.

So in order to have a common understanding of the concept of rehabilitation not only as an inherent right emerging from human rights violations but also to identify its different forms and the necessary operational mechanisms for its provisions, the victims should be at its center.



[Video] PNoy Cases: The 4th installment of the PCIJ Media Killings Series – youtube


IN THE past year, at least six Philippine journalists have been murdered by gunmen.

This much is clear: despite the avowed priority given by the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III to solving the murders of media and ridding the country of the culture of impunity, the killings of journalists in the country continue unabated.

In the second-to-the-last part of the Media Killings Series of documentaries by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, the PCIJ looks at some of the reasons why the murders continue unabated. Many thought that the entry of a new administration that espouses strong democratic and liberal beliefs would herald a dramatic shift in the culture of violence against journalists. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

– Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

[Video] Lest We Forget: Victims of Martial Law – youtube

Lest We Forget: 

Martial Law and its victims

ON THE 63rd anniversary of the declaration of December 10 as International Human Rights Day, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism releases a 13-minute video in memory and in honor of those who fought for democracy and freedom during the dark uncertain days of Martial Law.

The video is a compilation of the stories of six human rights victims or their families, all of them part of the 10,000 human rights victims who were recently awarded $1,000 each as part of a settlement against the estate of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

More than the story of anguish and terror and tragedy, these are stories of ordinary men and women who lived extraordinary lives. Too, these are stories of wives who became widows, and children who became orphans. Most of all, these are stories that the victims could only wish they could forget, even as they hope we all will remember and learn.

Interviews conducted by Malou Mangahas; camerawork by Winona Cueva. Editing by PCIJ interns Florenz Sison and Darlene Basingan; score by Florenz Sison.

Courtesy of http://pcij.org.

[In the Web] Rights victims turn to media for remedy, says Asia watchdog

Filipino women activists stage a play to symbolize human rights violations. Photo from http://cryptome.org.

THE failure of the Philippine government to protect its people from human rights violations has forced its citizens to seek “remedy by publicity,” according to an Asian human rights watchdog.

In a 25-page report on the Philippines, submitted in time for the International Human Rights Day on Saturday, the Asian Human Rights Commission said, “Due to absence of effective remedy in the criminal justice system, there has been an ongoing practice of victims, their families and those who supports them, to obtain some sort of remedy by way of publicity, not in the trial process.”

This means filing complaints against soldiers and policemen accused of violations is not enough for complainants, they also have to call the attention of supporters from within and outside the country to pressure the government into action.

That’s why witnesses or complainants at risk prefer to tell their stories to journalists rather than to the police. “Victims who are illegally detained, tortured and falsely charged would rather employ public pressure for their release than take legal action,” the Hong-Kong based human rights watchdog said in a statement.

“The widespread arbitrariness and disregard to elementary due process and legality that protects the rights is lacking if not completely absent. There must be a substantive discourse on the irreparable impact of how the flawed country’s system of justice operates to this day.”

Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, rector of the Quiapo Church in Manila, said the government must strengthen structures to protect the rights of the victims and those filing charges.

“We are saddened that in our beloved homeland, we continue to hear and witness violations of the rights of our brothers and sisters,” he said in an interview Saturday. “We could do a lot, if only all our branches in government could work together to uphold the rights of the citizens.”

Please read full article at http://www.cathnewsphil.com/2011/12/13/rights-victims-turn-to-media-for-remedy-rights-watchdog/



[Videos] Human Rights Violations in the Philippines | **EXPLICIT – youtube


A mock News Report Video for UW (University of Washington) Students for a Research project based on the Human Rights Violations in the Philippines.