RESIST STATE TERROR: STAND FOR PEOPLE’S RIGHTS IN THE PHILIPPINES
The ICHRP-Canada Conference and 3rd General Assembly will take place during a time of heightened and intensifying global conflict, in which Canada is a key actor: Canada supplies arms to ongoing military conflicts, and engages in exploitative labour and resource extraction. Little regard is afforded to the world’s peoples who are struggling with the subsequent rising cost of living, deteriorating social and environmental conditions, and the reality of war.
The impoverished majority in the Philippines are among the hardest hit, particularly women, children, peasants, workers, and Indigenous people. Under the government’s neoliberal economic program, landlessness, unemployment and poverty have intensified. Extrajudicial killings of civilians by state forces reached an all time high in 2022, drawing the attention of the United Nations (UN), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
From a lineage of dictatorial rule in the Philippines, the Marcos-Duterte administration signifies the continuation and the escalation of violent, repressive rule in the country. From the start, they indicated their willingness to serve the interests of the US, rendering the sovereignty and self-determination of the Filipino people a secondary consideration to the needs of the US military, foreign banks, and multinational corporations. To this end, and to consolidate their power, the regime is on a crusade of disinformation and is employing a systematic process to rewrite their history of human rights violations and erase the crimes of their past.
The new regime continues to take advantage of the tools used by previous regimes to repress legitimate aspirations for peace and justice in the country. They claim unfounded connections to alleged terrorist or armed secessionist organizations as the pretext for suppression and violence. The slanderous designation of respected leaders as terrorists via the Anti-Terror Act (ATA), and the relentless red-tagging of activists and organizations via the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), constitute serious violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL). A growing body of evidence is being collected, examining the extent to which IHL violations have and continue to take place.
In the context of instability and the escalating attacks on political, social, and economic rights, the imperative for solidarity and resistance grows. The path toward peace, human rights, and justice, long established by Filipino people, continues to garner the support of the international community. The 3rd Conference & General Assembly is an opportunity to seize the moment to collectively educate ourselves on the changing global and domestic context, to assess our strategies over the past 3 years, and to determine our plans to strengthen our solidarity and resistance in the years to come.
Our Conference Objectives:
- Increase support and solidarity for the democratic rights of the Filipino people
- To strengthen and expand ICHRP Canada
- Deepen people-to-people ties across broad sectors, with particular focus on:
- Peasants and Agricultural Workers
- Labour Unions
- Inter-Faith Communities
- Teachers and Academia
- Environmental Defenders
- Human Rights Defenders
- Media and Journalists
- Provide socio-political education and human rights training with focus on:
- Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples (Algier’s Charter)
- Government Advocacy
- Identify and assess the accomplishments and challenges of ICHRP’s advocacy, campaign and organizational work, and set priorities and strategies for the next program period (3 years)