The European Union today has expressed ‘significant concerns’ over the human rights situation in the Philippines during the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The EU has called on the Philippine government over the ‘very high number’ of deaths related to the drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte and urged the country not to revive capital punishment. It also voiced opposition to a bill that seeks to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 years to nine years old.
Here’s an excerpt of EU’s speech on the Philippines:
The EU is seriously concerned about the human rights situation in the Philippines. The EU enjoys traditionally close bonds with the Philippines based on shared values and interests and acknowledges a number of positive initiatives taken by the government, namely the renewed impetus on the peace processes. The EU also acknowledges that the fight against drug crime is a priority issue of serious concern to the government. However, the EU expresses significant concerns regarding the very high number of killings in this fight. The EU reiterates the importance of implementing the fight against drug crime in accordance with the rule of law and in respect of human rights. This must include the right to due process and safeguarding the right to life as well as the respect of the proportionality principle. The EU also calls for the protection of Human Rights Defenders and underlines the importance of freedom of expression and opinion. The EU calls on the Philippines to respect its obligations under international law and not to adopt bills reintroducing the death penalty or on lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 9 years currently under discussion in the Philippines.
The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.