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UN seeks visit to PH early next year to look into slays

  • Written by Cristina Lee-Pisco
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 199

THE United Nations special rapporteurs have asked the Philippines for a joint fact-finding visit in the first quarter of 2017 to look into extrajudicial killings in the country.

This was according to the briefing note on the status of the visit request to the Philippines and the working methods for the mandate’s fact-finding visits by Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard.

The briefing note said on October 13,  2016, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Dr. Agnes Callamard, and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Mr. Dainius Pkras, wrote to the Government of the Philippines to request the conduct of a joint fact-finding visit to the country in the first quarter of 2017.

Callamard was earlier invited to visit the Philippines after she criticized the government for the rise of killings due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s  war against illegal drugs.

The rapporteurs would examine issues related to the Special Rapporteur’s mandates and to identify good practices and challenges, as well as the most effective ways to assist the Philippines in guaranteeing the protection of the right to life and the right to health, particularly in the context of the anti-drug campaign.

In previous communication in September from the two Special Rapporteurs, they also proposed the organization of an expert consultation on drug control strategies and policies.
   
The proposed expert meeting is to provide a platform to identify the challenges in addressing drug-related issues, discuss relevant experiences and lessons learnt, and explore comprehensive and sustainable policy responses in the areas of public health, judicial and legislative reform, and law enforcement, which comply with human rights standards.
   
The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions conducts county visits, examines situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions worldwide, monitors implementation of international standards on the right to life in all countries, and engages with Government and other stakeholders.
   
She draws attention to serious situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, including through Urgent Appeals, and reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.