Published: Sat, July 13, 2019

UNHRC adopts resolution on climate change and human rights

UNHRC adopts resolution on climate change and human rights

Eighteen states of the 47-member Human Rights Council on Thursday voted to adopt Iceland's resolution which requested United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to present a "comprehensive" report on the state of human rights in the Philippines.

Eighteen countries voted in favor of the Iceland-endorsed resolution, 14 were against, and 15 abstained during voting held in Geneva Thursday.

Ellecer "Budit" Carlos of the Manila-based rights group iDefend said that the resolution is not just a step towards paying justice for the thousands of families of victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines but is also a collective message sent out to those who have praised Duterte.

"It was necessary, in our opinion, because all reports indicate that the human rights situation in the Philippines continues to deteriorate", he said.

"This resolution does not represent a triumph of human rights but a travesty of them", he added.

While the resolution did not establish a full commission of enquiry, as many activists had hoped it would, the green light for Bachelet to begin investigations is the council's strongest condemnation of Duterte's actions yet and could have severe consequences.

On Friday, Sen. Leila del Lima, a former rights commissioner and Duterte political rival who is in jail for what she claims are false charges related to drug trafficking, said the government was normalizing deaths carried out in the name of the drug war.

Teodoro Locsin, the Philippine foreign minister, condemned the resolution in a statement that was read in Geneva, saying it came "straight from the mouth of the queen in Alice in Wonderland".

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the resolution as "designed to embarrass" the Philippines.

"The resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan", Panelo said in a lengthy statement issued overnight. Duterte has fired off insults at United Nations human rights experts, and the government sought to have the expert on the rights of indigenous people, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, declared a terrorist when she criticized the government's actions. The government counters that about 6,600 people have been killed by police in shootouts with drug dealers.

Last month, a three-year-old girl became one of the youngest victims of the war on drugs, after she was shot dead in a raid near Manila. "There will be consequences, far-reaching consequences".

Earlier in the week, Amnesty International released a report denouncing the illegal drugs crackdown in the Philippines as a 'large-scale murdering enterprise victimising mostly poor people that should be investigated by the UN. Police say her father, Renato, used his daughter as a human shield.

"Should it proceed impartially, we are certain that its result will only lead to the humiliation of the investigators, as well as of Iceland and the 17 other nations supporting it, since there never has been - nor will there ever be - state-sponsored killings in this part of the world".

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