MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) urged aid agencies to fast-track their response to the series of earthquakes in Mindanao as it extended its sympathy to affected families.
In a statement by CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, she said government agencies must adopt a "human-rights based response" to the quakes that resulted to the loss of lives and displacement of families in the region.
“Prompt delivery of humanitarian assistance, such as adequate food, clean water, sanitation, shelter, and health and psychosocial services should be the utmost priority of responding government and relief organizations. As resources tend to be scarce, persons affected by natural disasters are more prone to unequal access to humanitarian assistance, discrimination in provision of aid, forced relocation, and gender-based violence,” de Guia said.
The CHR stressed that the government must also ensure the safety of the people before allowing them to return to their homes.
The commission also underscored that socially vulnerable groups are usually more prone to the impacts of natural disasters.
“Special needs and protection should be provided particularly to children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities,” de Guia said.