Pending bills on human rights tackled in UN discussion
23 October 2023
The roundtable discussion on human rights-related legislation aims to strengthen human rights promotion through legislative action and reform.
23 OCTOBER, MANILA—The United Nations Joint Programme for Human Rights in the Philippines (UNJP) convened today representatives from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Philippine Congress, academe and civil society organizations to strengthen human rights approaches on key pending legislation.
Among the bills discussed include four filed in the Senate covering the protection of human rights defenders (Senate Bill [SB] 2447), the CHR Charter (SB 2440), anti-discrimination (SB 1264), and the establishment of a Forensics Institute (SB 694).
Two bills filed in the House of Representatives were also tackled, concerning the establishment of the National Preventive Mechanism (House Bill [HB] 8780), and a bill on mandatory autopsy (HB 8384).
The roundtable discussion was organized to promote human rights in these proposed laws, particularly their compliance with national and international human rights standards and good practices.
“Parliaments are the guardians of human rights,” said UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo González, adding that members of Congress play a vital role in ensuring that national laws cover the spectrum of citizens’ political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights.
He added, “Legislators also play a crucial oversight role in ensuring government compliance with international human rights obligations and translating them into national legislation and policies.”
CHR Chairperson Richard Paat Palpal-latoc underscored the importance of the discussion, saying, “These bills play an integral role in our shared aspirations for human rights and society.”
“Let us continue to work together on the passage of these bills as doing so will result in impactful outcomes that will change the lives of many for the better,” he said.
UN entities involved in this initiative
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights