Churches report to United Nations on Philippines human rights

By staff writers
March 19, 2007

A broad-based churches' report and a call to action documenting human rights violations in the Philippines is being launched this afternoon at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, within the framework of the current session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Submitting the report - entitled "Let the stones cry out!" - is an ecumenical Christian delegation from the Philippines whose participation in the Human Rights Council's meeting is being sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

The report "distills the collective cry for justice of thousands of Filipinos - including more than 800 victims of extra-judicial executions from the year 2001 to the present - who have suffered the brunt of violations of human rights under the Philippine government's counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism strategies".

It presents information on the violations and evidence of the complicity of government security forces, and discusses the historical, social, economic and political context in which the violations are committed, including a "culture of impunity".

An associated call to action is addressed to the UN Human Rights Council as well as to church and religious bodies in the international community and Philippines churches.

The ecumenical delegation presenting the report includes representatives of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), the Philippines Ecumenical Bishops' Forum, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the Moro Christian People's Alliance as well as the US-based United Methodist Church.

The delegation will meet with the staff of the German mission to the UN, and will attempt to make oral interventions during the plenary sessions of the Human Rights Council on such topics as disappearances and Indigenous issues. It will also meet with staff of the WCC, LWF and other ecumenical organizations at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

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