Press Release
December 9, 2010

As the world observes International Human Rights Day: Jinggoy
presses pro-active measures for HR respect and promotion

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has pressed for "truly pro-active measures" which would ensure respect and promotion of human rights, especially of the Filipino masses who, he noted, are frequently the primary victims of HR violations.

This, as the world observes International Human Rights Day (IHRD) on December 10, marking the day of the 1948 United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

"Human rights are the supreme inherent and inalienable rights to life, to dignity, and to self-development, encompassing the areas of civil, political, economic, social and cultural aspects of each person's existence," said Estrada, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment.

"But it is ironic that despite the many laws of our land and the several international declarations and agreements on human rights, violations of these rights persist in our country, and in majority of these instances, the masses - the poor, those lacking in formal education and those living in far-flung and less-developed parts of our country - are usually the victims," he lamented.

The senator said the persistence of HR violations in the country is largely attributed to the lack of operational systems and mechanisms to prevent such violations, and to the lack of knowledge and information among many people themselves, especially the masses, on the rights that they should be enjoying - and be fighting for, whenever the need arises for such.

He added, "Human rights is a struggle at all fronts - in the factory, in sweatshops, on the streets, in the home, as well as in courts, in jails and detention centers, and in all places and situations where the dignity of the human person is simplified, or even trivialized."

"It is the duty of the government to operationalize and institutionalize all needed systems and mechanisms that would give real substance to all HR laws and declarations. In this regard, I am pushing for truly pro-active measures that would ensure protection and promotion of human rights in our country, especially in our people's most immediate societies: their neighborhood communities, the barangays and the schools," the senator said.

Among the bills being pushed by Estrada as part of his HR advocacy and legislative agenda are:

  • Senate Bill Number 917: Establishment of Barangay Human Rights Action Centers;

  • SBN 2475: Human Rights Resource Center Act;

  • SBN-567: Mandatory Teaching of Human Rights in all Public and Private Schools; and,

  • SBN-530: Internal Displacement Act (Providing the Necessary Mechanisms for the Prevention of the Occurrence of, and Protection from, the Adverse Effects of Internal Displacement).

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