Supporting the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism in the Philippines
On 23 and 24 September, the APT took part in a seminar organised by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims and the BALAY Rehabilitation Centre, aimed at exploring, together with all key Filipino stakeholders, the different options that could be considered for the Philippines to have an effective National Preventive Mechanism. Although the Philippines has not yet formally ratified the OPCAT, the country is on the right track. On 11 April, the chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Committee announced before the UN Human Rights Council, on the occasion of the Universal Periodic Review, that the Philippines would soon accede to the OPCAT. On 22 April 2008, the President ratified the OPCAT and recommended that the Senate concur with this ratification. The ratification is now pending the Senate's endorsement, but the issue has been given priority in the legislative agenda.
This was the APT's second visit to Manila. In April 2006, an introductory seminar on the OPCAT was organised in conjunction with the 'United Against Torture' NGO Coalition. On that occasion, meetings with government officials had been organised. The APT and its partners have been trying to persuade Filipino authorities to follow through on their principled support of the OPCAT when the instrument was adopted by the UN in 2002 (Briefing Note, May 2006).
Partners: Asia Pacific Forum
Contact Person: Philippe Tremblay, APT Asia-Pacific Programme Officer