The Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) is among the international organisations that have called on the government of Philippines to stop harassing and intimidating the country’s National Human Rights Institutions amid the rising abuse of human rights from security agents.
In a regional contribution solidarity letter addressed to the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of Philippines, Mr Chito Gascon, the international human rights network -Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) – said NHRIs should be left to carry out investigations into violations of human rights as outlined in the United Nation’s Paris Principles of 1993.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterter in July announced that he will block any investigations by the CHRP as the war against drugs intensifies. In the statement, which has since been withdrawn, President Duterte said the commission should be “better abolished”.
“GANHRI and other regional network of human rights – Asian Pacific Forum, European Network of NHRIs, the Network of the Americas and NANHRI are greatly concerned by these attacks against one of its members and peers. An NHRI should not be harassed, or intimidated publicly to abandon any investigations into alleged human rights violations. The role of NHRIs is precisely to promote and protect human rights. It falls upon their respective governments to create the necessary environment, by including upholding the independence of the NHRI and respecting its mandate,” the letter reads.
The Human Rights Council resolution 33/15 encourages the NHRIs continue playing their role in combating human rights abuses. The resolution also states that NHRIs should not face any form of reprisal or intimidation, including political pressure, harassment, unjustifiable budgetary limits as a result of their fulfilling their mandate.