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Editor's Note: Defending Human Rights
Volume 24 Number 1
Thursday, 12 January 2012 11:51
In this issue, special focus is given on human rights defenders.  According to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, a human rights defender is anyone working for the promotion and protection of human rights. This broad definition encompasses professional as well as non-professional human rights workers, volunteers, journalists, lawyers and anyone else carrying out, even on an occasional basis, a human rights activity.
In this issue, special focus is given on human rights defenders.  According to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, a human rights defender is anyone working for the promotion and protection of human rights. This broad definition encompasses professional as well as non-professional human rights workers, volunteers, journalists, lawyers and anyone else carrying out, even on an occasional basis, a human rights activity.
In the recent past, human rights defenders have been under attack. They have been labeled as leftists, dissidents, sometimes even enemies of the State.  In these situations, who will defend the defender?
Dr. Renato Mabunga, Chairperson of Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas, discusses in his paper the role of networks in the promotion and protection of the rights of human rights defenders (HRDs) and women human rights defenders (WHRDs).
An article on the inception of Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas is also included in this issue.
Also highlighted in this issue is the Youth for Rights (Y4R), the youth arm of Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas.  The experience of the youth in Mindanao on how they became Y4R members is also given space.
The opposition of human rights defenders to the construction of the Pulangui Dam is briefly explained in one of the articles.
For a number of years now, part of TFDP’s campaign is against mining. In 2009, through TFDP’s initiative, a fact-finding mission in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya was conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), headed by its then chairperson, Leila De Lima.  As a result of this fact-finding mission, the CHR, under its current chairperson, Loretta Ann Rosales, came out with a resolution to kick out Oceana Gold Philippines, Incorporated (OGPI) out of the country because of its human rights abuses.
Defending human rights should be each person’s responsibility.  But with human rights defenders being under threat, the task at hand is more daunting and challenging.  There is therefore a need for human rights defenders to work together and find mechanisms for their own protection and for the continuous defense and promotion of human rights.
In the recent past, human rights defenders have been under attack. They have been labeled as leftists, dissidents, sometimes even enemies of the State.  In these situations, who will defend the defender?
Dr. Renato Mabunga, Chairperson of Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas, discusses in his paper the role of networks in the promotion and protection of the rights of human rights defenders (HRDs) and women human rights defenders (WHRDs).
An article on the inception of Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas is also included in this issue.
Also highlighted in this issue is the Youth for Rights (Y4R), the youth arm of Human Rights Defenders-Pilipinas.  The experience of the youth in Mindanao on how they became Y4R members is also given space.
The opposition of human rights defenders to the construction of the Pulangui Dam is briefly explained in one of the articles.
For a number of years now, part of TFDP’s campaign is against mining. In 2009, through TFDP’s initiative, a fact-finding mission in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya was conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), headed by its then chairperson, Leila De Lima.  As a result of this fact-finding mission, the CHR, under its current chairperson, Loretta Ann Rosales, came out with a resolution to kick out Oceana Gold Philippines, Incorporated (OGPI) out of the country because of its human rights abuses.
Defending human rights should be each person’s responsibility.  But with human rights defenders being under threat, the task at hand is more daunting and challenging.  There is therefore a need for human rights defenders to work together and find mechanisms for their own protection and for the continuous defense and promotion of human rights.

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