By Pia Lee-Brago and Janvic Mateo
After hearing the Duterte administration defend the conduct of its war on drugs, representatives of 45 of the 47 nations gathered in Geneva for a review of the country’s human rights record emerged apparently unconvinced, as they called on the government to end extrajudicial killings and withdraw its plan to revive the death penalty.
The recommendations were part of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group’s report on the Philippines.
The review – covering all UN-member countries – is done every four years. The 47 countries are members of the council.
The countries that expressed concern over the human rights situation in the Philippines are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, the Vatican and Zambia.
But China praised the Philippine government for its “remarkable achievements in protecting human rights.” Saudi Arabia, being council chair, abstained.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) announced yesterday the adoption of the report on the Philippines.
The Philippines received a total of 257 recommendations – the highest – from among the participating states. Recommendations after review averaged 220.
Extrajudicial killings, the death penalty and human trafficking were the core issues on which the recommendations were based.
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