HRW opposes UN Human Rights Council seat for Philippines


Posted at Oct 12 2018 01:51 AM

MANILA - Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday opposed the candidacy of the Philippines for a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council.

HRW, in a statement Thursday, said the Philippines, along with Eritrea, should not be allowed in the UNHRC because of its "egregious human rights records."

“UN member countries should show their outrage at the Philippines and Eritrea by leaving two spots on the ballot sheet blank and keeping them off the council,” HRW UN Director Louis Charbonneau said.

“Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s abusive ‘war on drugs’ has been a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead."

At least 4,854 drug suspects have been killed in police anti-drug operations, but human rights groups and government critics say this figure is understated. 

The Philippine government has several times denied involvement in summary killings, saying drug suspects slain in police anti-drug operations had put up violent resistance.

The UN General Assembly will vote on Friday to fill one-third of the 47-member council for the 2019 to 2021 term.

The HRW also called on the UN for a "competitive elections." It said all candidates are "virtually assured seats on the council" regardless of their human rights record.

“Many UN member states talk a good game about strengthening the Human Rights Council, but this year all regional groups ignored the need for competitive elections,” Charbonneau said. 

“Instead of pushing candidates to demonstrate they’re worthy of joining the UN’s premier human rights body, the UN membership has put forward a non-competitive vote that makes a mockery of the word ‘election.’”