UP IHR co-organizes human rights conference

Seda1 Seda RCPThe University of the Philippines Institute of Human Rights (UP IHR) co-organized on 6 September 2018, “HUMAN RIGHTS: Contemporaneous Strategies and Future Pathways International Academic Conference on Human Rights Accountability” at the Seda Vertis North Hotel, Quezon City.

The conference, co-organized by the UP IHR, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Center for International Law (CENTERLAW), aimed to advance the discourse on human rights in the country by presenting different avenues, mechanisms, and approaches to address large-scale human rights violations.

Senior academics, practitioners, and experts in the fields of rule of law, international human rights law, and transitional justice were engaged to tackle current and emerging challenges as well as domestic and global trends in advancing the protection of rule of law and human rights, primarily through the lens of accountability. Academics, students, legal professionals, human rights advocates, media practitioners and communicators, government officials, among others, attended the event.

UP IHR Director Prof. Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan, during her opening remarks, underscored that human rights cannot be the subject of political bargaining and that there is need to protect and promote human rights, exact accountability for their violations, and uncover pathways to end impunity. members of academe, human rights advocates, law practitioners, and members of civil society organizations not to ignore the blatant human rights violations committed daily which characterize the current political climate in the country.

International Criminal Court (ICC) Judge Hon. Raul C. Pangalangan meanwhile delivered the Keynote Speech. Drawing from his experiences as a student-activist during the martial law period and discussed the nuances of filing cases before the ICC. "When we choose the pathways we take to any predicament, we transform our own work as activists," says Judge Pangalangan.

The conference had morning and afternoon sessions, each capped by a panel discussion and open question andSeda5 answerforum from the participants. Among the speakers were Dr. Vitit Muntarbhorn , who was of Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child PornographyChulalongkorn University, Thailand, Wolfgang Kaleck of European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Germany, Atty. Joel Butuyan of CENTERLAW, Dr. Clarissa David of UP College of Mass Communication, Atty. Jacqueline De Guia, Spokesperson of the Commission on Human Rights, Dr. Clarissa David of UP College of Mass Communication, Atty. Ruben Carranza Director of the Reparative Justice Program of the ICTJ, former HRVCB Chair Lina Sarmiento and Mr. Mika Kanervavuori, UN Coordinator for Human Rights. UP IHR Law Reform Specialists, Atty. Michael Tiu, Jr. and Atty. Glenda Litong gave the synthesis of the morning and afternoon sessions, respectively.

In his closing remarks, Commission on Human Rights Chair Hon. Chito Gascon urged the participants to “pursue multiple paths” and “find different ways” to end impunity and achieve justice.

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