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Tag Archives: Defenders of Human Rights Defenders

Why Asia’s human rights defenders remain defenseless

Why Asia’s human rights defenders remain defenseless
Asian activists are the world’s most persecuted, UN rapporteur says

Cambodian security guards arrest a land rights activist from the Boeung Kak lakeside community during a protest in front of Phnom Penh municipal court in November (AFP Photo/Tang Chhin Sothy)

By: Renato Mabunga, PhD, Manila
December 10, 2014
First posted in

Human rights defenders from around the world gathered in Manila last week to consolidate “protection platforms” for human rights workers. The meeting highlighted various protection initiatives on the ground and the challenges for their implementation.

The event tracked various organizational protection systems and mechanisms as stopgap measures against violations of the rights of activists. It also mapped out effective engagement and cooperation with the newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

In his speech, Michel Forst, the UN rapporteur, noted that Asian human rights defenders are the most threatened, intimidated or investigated.

They are also the most harassed or criminalized, and the most likely to be prevented from travelling.

Such violations and denials of fundamental freedoms have been aimed to discredit, silence and eliminate human rights defenders in the region, he said.

Asia’s basic freedoms fall short of international standards

Asia’s basic freedoms fall short of international standards
by: Renato Mabunga, Manila
First Posted in
September 8, 2014

Too many restrictions and not enough promotion of rights

There is a general lacuna in legal and institutional protection for freedom of assembly and expression in many Asian countries.

Most Asian countries emphasize restrictions rather than the promotion of freedoms.

Forum Asia, a regional human rights organization based Bangkok, found that Maldives, for instance, defines “assembly” as a gathering of two or more people expressing opinion or dissent.

HRDP: Urgently Adopt all Necessary Measures to Guarantee Life, Integrity, and Safety of HRDs

As posted in

HRDP Statement on the 64th Int’l Human Rights Day

On the occasion of the International Human Rights day on December 10, 2012, the Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas (HRDP) salutes all working women and men in reclaiming the dignity of persons and those who continuously strive towards the achievement of all human rights for all.

Sadly, sixty-four years after the states adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), cases of human rights violations especially against human rights defenders are of an alarming number and must be urgently addressed.

Peace is possible if people work for it

by: Renato Mabunga
First posted in:
September 26, 2012

Greed of the few endangers happiness of the many

The world marked the International Day of Peace last week, on September 21, the same day the Philippines marked the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.

This year, the United Nations called on countries around the world to work for “sustainable peace for a sustainable future.” The UN statement highlighted the use and

Defeating ‘twisted culture’ of torture

By: Renato Mabunga, Manila
Defending Human Rights Defenders
June 27, 2012

On Tuesday, the United Nations marked the “International Day in Support of Torture Victims.” It was a significant day filled with simple and substantial ironies.

In Manila, about 600 human rights advocates, military and police personnel “tortured” motorists who were stranded on a major thoroughfare while a procession demonstrating against torture passed.