Interior photograph of the large international meeting chamber room at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. The room is empty.

Philippines: Australian support of UN resolution welcome

Responding to the UN Human Rights Council voting in favour of a resolution to monitor and report on the critical human rights situation in the Philippines – including unlawful killings in the context of the “war on drugs” Amnesty International Australia Campaigner Tim O’Connor said:

“We’re extremely pleased Australia used its hard-fought position on the UN Human Rights Council to support the resolution to investigate and document the deadly campaign of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

“This vote not only provides hope for thousands of bereaved families, and the Filipinos bravely challenging the Duterte administration’s murderous ‘war on drugs’, but it also sends a clear signal that the international community won’t look away on these egregious human rights abuses.

“Now the Philippines needs 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.”

Background

Last night, the UN Human Rights Council voted in favour of a resolution, tabled by Iceland, requesting the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to 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 International. Just ahead of the vote, Amnesty International released a new report documenting ongoing violations and crimes under international law committed as part of the “war on drugs.” 

The list of current Human Rights Council member states – which includes the Philippines – is available here.

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