Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council
19 September 2019

Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council


On 18 September 2019, Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada delivered a joint oral statement to the Human Rights Council on the situation of lawyers in the Philippines. The statement was delivered during the General Debate Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention.

The statement reads as follows:

Mr. President,

Lawyers for Lawyers and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada would like to call the Council’s attention to the human rights situation in the Philippines, particularly the attacks against lawyers, including dozens of extrajudicial killings.

We welcome Council resolution 41/2 which mandates a comprehensive written report on the human rights situation in the Philippines and urges the Government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings, to carry out impartial investigations, and to hold perpetrators accountable.

Since the adoption of the resolution on July 11, 2019, three more lawyers in the Philippines have been assassinated, and another survived a murderous attack.

These attacks and extrajudicial killings of lawyers and the impunity shielding perpetrators impair the ability of lawyers to provide effective legal representation, and consequently severely undermine the proper functioning of the rule of law and the adequate protection of rights, including the right to remedies and fair trials.

Today, 151 Bar Associations, lawyers’ organizations and lawyers around the world call on the Government of the Philippines to adequately protect the safety and independence of lawyers and to end the culture of impunity in which these attacks occur.

We urge the Council to insist that the Government of the Philippines halt and remedy violations andfully complywithResolution 41/2.

Thank you.

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