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Human: (noun)

A member of the Homo sapiens species; a man, woman or child; a person.

Rights: (noun)

Things to which you are entitled or allowed; freedoms that are guaranteed.


The rights you have simply because you are human.

Misconceptions on Human Rights

 CHR was created to run after uniformed services

With the adoption of the 1987 Constitution the Commission on Human

Rights (CHR) was institutionalized. The Constitution orders the CHR “to
investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human
rights violations involving civil and political rights”. At the end of the
Marcos regime which marked the start of the Aquino Administration,
numerous complaints of human rights violations against the government
and the military were received (from families of victims, cause-oriented
groups and activists) and investigated by the CHR.

Since then, the CHR has been perceived as homogeneous group

fighting for the protection of human rights of civilians only. Contrary to
that view, CHR, as provided by the Constitution, was mandated “to
investigate all forms of HRV” regardless if these are committed by state
or non-state actors.
 CHR and human rights advocacy groups and other CSOs are
a homogeneous group.

Many law enforcers tend to associate human rights advocates or CSOs

with the CHR thus viewing the human rights groups and the National
Human Rights agency as one. The commonality of CHR and CSOs lies
in the promotion and protection of human rights.

 CHR is anti-military/police

The CHR is an independent, legally mandated body to investigate on its

own or upon complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations
involving civil and political rights, and international treaty obligations of
human rights. Its priority is human rights protection.
 Human rights are a propaganda used by enemies of the
State against the government.

 Human rights are used by some sectors to blame and

harass the police/military even if “we are only doing our

 Human rights only protect anti-government activists and do

not benefit the PNP and the AFP.

 Human rights are hindrance to military and police

operations; it is an obstacle to mission accomplishment.
What are human rights?
Human Rights refer to the “basic rights and freedoms that all
human beings have.”

• It belong to everyone – they can’t be taken away from

marginalised individuals;
• Are about the relationship between the State and
• Provide a floor, not a ceiling, of basic standards, of which
the State must not fail and which it must protect or fulfill;
- Fairness
- Respect
- Equality
- Dignity


Inherent &
Dignity &
It is the essence of these rights that
makes a person human.

• Universality

• Equality & Non-Discrimination

• Balance between Rights and Responsibilities

• Primacy of Human Dignity and Rights

• Indivisibility

• Interdependence and inter-relatedness


According to Aspects of Life:

• Civil rights - rights of individuals to be protected from arbitrary
interference by government in their life, liberty and security,
freedom to travel, right to due process.

• Political rights - rights of individuals to interfere and participate in the

affairs of the governments (right to vote, stand for election,
participate in state and social management, freedom of speech,
press, assembly)

• Social, economic and cultural rights - progressive demands of the

people to improve their standard of living. (right to education, work,
healthy and working environment, practice of religion, use of one’s
language and enjoy one’s culture)
Right to life;
Right to liberty;
Right to be secure in your person, houses, papers and effects against
unreasonable searches and seizures;
Right to privacy of communication and correspondence;
Freedom of speech, expression, the press, and to peaceably assemble and
petition the government for redress of grievances;
Liberty of abode, movement and travel;
Right to be informed on matters of public concern;
Right to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to
Right to just compensation for private property taken for public use;
Protection of the obligation of contracts;
Free access to court and quasi-judicial bodies;
Right to be informed and to remain silent when under investigation;
Freedom from torture, force, violence, threat, intimidation or any other means
which vitiates free will;
Freedom from secret, solitary, and ‘incommunicado’ detention;
Right to bail and due process of law...

Right to a decent standard of living;

Right to dignity;
Right to property
Right to work;
Right to fair wage;
Right to social security;
Right to education;
Right to identity;
Right to self-determination;
Freedom from hunger;
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion...
According to Struggle & Recognition:
• 1st Generation Rights – Civil and Political Rights
• 2nd Generation Rights – Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
• 3rd Generation Rights – Collective Rights

According to Source:
• Natural Rights
• Constitutional Rights
• Statutory Rights

According to Recipient:
• Individual Rights
• Collective Rights
According to Derogability
• Derogable Rights (Relative)
• Non-Derogable Rights (Absolute)
Some rights can never be suspended (Absolute):
• right to life
• right to freedom from torture
• right to freedom from slavery
• non discrimination
• freedom of thought, conscience and religion
• right to recognition as a person before the law
• all economic, social and cultural rights
• everything in the Convention on the Rights of the Child
States can suspend/restrict some rights (Relative)
only if:
• restrictions are temporary
• there really is an exceptional threat to life of the
• official proclamation is made & UN is informed
• every restriction is “strictly necessary” and
reasonable to meet the threat
• other obligations under international law are
• restrictions do not discriminate
[Interpret above very strictly. State must prove a
restriction is justified in each case]

Human Rights concepts developed through clash of ideas.

It evolved as a reaction / response by the people against
the abuses/oppression by the State & leaders having
jurisdiction over them.
- Man was created in the image & likeness of God (Dignity)
All of us are God’s children (Equal)
Therefore, we are all brothers & sisters.
To injure or to kill another is a sin against the law of God
& a crime against the law of man.

- The religious doctrine on human dignity influence the UN

concept of human rights which declared in the preamble of
the UDHR that HR stem from the inherent dignity & worth of
the human person.
- Originally, all humans had lived in a theoretical state of nature where
absolute freedom & equality prevailed, & there was no government of any
kind. The only law was the Law of Nature. (Pre-Political Society)

- During the pre-political society there was no established authority, no law

except the law of nature, no institution for the maintenance of peace &
security, thus conflict often ensued with each individual trying to assert his
rights & freedom.

- To put an end to the chaotic condition, man entered into a political

society or a government was formed to whom man gave up certain rights
& freedom on condition that government will rule through laws & provide
for the security & development of the people.

- Thus a people’s rebellion against a government that no longer works for

the common good of the people was justified, after peaceful means have

- A right is a child of the law; from real law comes real rights, but
from imaginary laws (Law of Nature) come imaginary rights. HR
could not be derived from natural law, HR should be written not

- All authority emanates from the State, & the source of rights can
only be found in the laws promulgated & enforced by the State.
Where the law does not provide for a particular right, such right
does not exist.

Cultural Relativist

- Culture is more supreme than HR. If HR runs in conflict with

culture, HR should not be given & culture should prevail.
Marxist / Socialist

- Reaction to the theories & principles by the naturalist & positivists

came from Marxism / Socialism during the industrial revolution & the
rise of capitalism. The civil & political rights, which the people have
fought for & died for were not enough to ensure their happiness. The
socio- economic aspect of life was neglected & capitalism tolerated
the exploitation of the proletariat/working class. Only a few benefited
from the economic gains of the time, & the situation gave rise to the
theories of a classless society.
- Under the Socialist/Marxist society, interest of society is over & above
individual interests; individual freedom can only come after society
has been completely reformed. The individual ultimately has no rights,
only duties.
- Economic advancement was emphasized by Marx over civil & political
rights. This led to the formulation of social & economic rights.
All these HR concepts that had developed through time were
synthesized by the UN after WW II & embodied in the
different international HR instruments that have become the
standard/ideals for all member-countries of the UN. Then
these concepts have been incorporated into the Constitutions
& domestic laws of nations including the Philippines.

• UDHR – Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

• ICERD - International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination (965)
• ICCPR - International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
• ICESCR - International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)
• CEDAW - Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women (1979)
• CAT - Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment (1984)
• CRC - Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
• ICRMW - International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All
Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990)
• ICPPED - International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced Disappearance (2006 )
• CRPD - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)

International level:


Domestic level:

1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

2. Everyone is entitled to rights and freedoms without distinction of any

kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political affiliation or
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or any other status.

3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade
shall be prohibited in all their forms.

5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading

treatment or punishment.
6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before
the law.

7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination
to equal protection of the law.

8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national

court for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the
constitution or by law.

9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an

independent and impartial court, in the determination of his rights and
obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
11. Everyone charged with a penal offense has the right to be presumed
innocent until proved guilty.

12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy,

family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon one’s honor and

13. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each State.

14. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum
from persecution.

15. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

16. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality
or religion, have the right to marry and to have a family.
17. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association
with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

20. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

21. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
directly or through freely chosen representatives. The will of the people
shall be the basis of the authority of government.

22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is
entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-
operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each
State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his
dignity and the free development of his personality.
23. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and
favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation
of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

25. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to
security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood,
old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances.

26. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in
the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be
beyond his control.
27. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the
community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and
its benefits.

28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order.

29. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full
development of his personality is possible. In the exercise of his rights
and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as
determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and
respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just
requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a
democratic society.

30. No state, group or person must engage in any activity or perform any act
aimed at the destruction of any of the universally recognized rights and
Human Rights may also be seen as FREEDOMS or DEMANDS

Certain rights (demands)

Certain rights are enjoyed
can only be enjoyed if the
if the people are left free
State intervenes
to exercise them:
(resource allocation)
- Freedom from arbitrary
- Education
- Freedom from torture
- Freedom to hold one’s - Public health care
- Public services
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of movement

33 injured as demolition turns violent in San Juan

MANILA, Philippines—Some 400 policemen and members of a demolition team who descended on Barangay (village)
Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City Wednesday morning were met with molotov bombs, fist-sized rocks and empty
bottles by defiant residents.
From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., residents hurled projectiles as the police and demolition crew hid behind shields. From time to
time, explosions caused by molotov bombs would drive the authorities farther back while fire trucks moved in to put
out small fires.
At one point, the fire trucks and a bulldozer tried to break up the residents’ ranks but they proved useless.
What finally sent the residents fleeing were tear gas canisters hurled into their midst.
After the tension died down, 33 people were reported to have suffered injuries. Of the total, only seven were from the
residents’ side while the rest were policemen and members of the demolition crew. One policeman had to be treated
for burns after his right arm was hit by burning shards which came from a molotov bomb.
The police later rounded up 18 residents who allegedly took part in the violent clash and took them to the San Juan
Police headquarters. Six protesters who held a rally in front of the police station to demand the release of the 18 were
also held by authorities.

1) Identify who are the Duty Bearers in this news item?
2) Who are the Rights Holders in this news item?
As predicted, Typhoon Ruby hit the Philippines hard, particularly the north of the island of Samar. An NGO, SOLIDARITÉS
INTERNATIONAL's teams have already been deployed to help those affected.

In response to the urgency of the situation, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has mobilized those staff members already present in the
Philippines. "When Typhoon Ruby was identified and predicted to hit the Philippines, our teams were still working to help the communities
affected by Typhoon Yolanda 13 months ago. They then went into disaster preparation and emergency response mode in order to deal with
what appeared to be a new threat to these very same populations," Christophe Vavasseur, head of our Asia Desk, explains.

Since last week, the logistics team at head office of SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL- headed by Fabrice Perrot, and in collaboration with the
Asia Desk - have been preparing for Typhoon Ruby. Emergency supplies are now ready to go if needed. At the same time, SOLIDARITÉS
INTERNATIONAL’s Myanmar mission has volunteered to assist the team in the Philippines. "Four members of our team
in Myanmar contacted us straight away last week, to tell us that they were ready to leave if we needed their support," explains Christophe
Vavasseur. "They should arrive in the region in the next few days to provide essential extra support to the local population."

1) Who is/are the Duty Bearer(s) in this news item?
2) Who are the Claimholders in this news item? Why?
Rights holders:

Refers to an individual or group of persons that has a claim against the

State. In general terms, all human beings are rights-holders under the

Duty bearer:

Those actors who have a particular obligation or responsibility to

respect, protect and fulfill human rights and to abstain from human
rights violations. The term is most commonly used to refer to State
actors, but Non-State actors can also be considered duty bearers.

Ex. - private armed forces or rebel groups, which under international law have a
negative obligation to refrain from human rights violations.
- individuals (e.g. parents), local organizations, private companies, aid donors
and international institutions can also be duty-bearers.
State’s Obligation to

Respect Protect Fulfill

refrain from prevent others from adopt appropriate

interfering with the measures (legislative,
interfering with the
enjoyment of the judicial, administrative,
enjoyment of a right
right budgetary…) towards full
realization of the right
Example: Right to Food
Some State Obligations on the Right to Food
Obligation to Respect:
States may not take any measures that result in preventing access to adequate
food or in the occurrence of famines (e.g., by marketing unsafe food , or in the
context of population displacement due to armed conflict, etc.)

Obligation to Protect:
States must take measures to ensure that enterprises or individuals do not
deprive people of access to adequate food (e.g., by storing food for speculative

Obligation to Fulfill:
States must take positive measures to promote access and use of food (e.g.,
farm-to-market roads, price regulations, etc.)
Nature of human rights violations (HRV) by the State:
 Violation by Omission – the non-interference of the State in
any situation that requires action to respect, protect,
or fulfill the human rights of its citizens.
 Violation by Commission – any act by the government in
violation of any covenant or instrument on human
rights which the State is committed to uphold.
Civil and Political Rights Key Human Rights Issues

Article 3 - Extrajudicial Killings

Everyone has the right to life, liberty - Enforced Disappearances
and security of person. - Massacre/Frustrated Massacre
- Illegal Search and Seizure

Article 5 - Use of torture by agents of the

No one shall be subjected to torture state or by persons acting with the
or to cruel, inhuman or degrading acquiescence or at the instigation
treatment or punishment. of persons in authority

Article 9 - Illegal or arbitrary arrest and

No one shall be subjected to detention of suspected “enemies
arbitrary arrest, detention or exile of the state”
Rule: The State has the obligation (respect, protect &
fulfill) to realize the human rights of its people as the
primary duty bearer.
Individuals / Non-State actors does not have the
same obligation but they are expected to respect the
rights of others.
Individual acts that abuse / violate the human rights
of others are considered as common crimes.

Exception: In recent developments, acts committed by

Non-State actors have been considered as HRV with
the enforcement of the CEDAW, which recognized
violence against women (VAW), whether committed
by public or private individuals, as HRV.
Key Messages:

1. Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that

belong to every person in the world.

2. The State bears the main obligation to respect, protect

and ensure human rights guarantees under
international law.