Parliament must respond to human rights situation in the Philippines

https://nupge.ca/content/parliament-must-respond-human-rights-situation-philippines

The petition seeks to ensure that Canadian companies abroad are held
accountable for their role in human rights violations and that the
Canadian government is held accountable for its political and financial
support to both Canadian companies in the Philippines and the Duterte
government.

Ottawa (28 Oct. 2020) — The National Union of Public and General
Employees (NUPGE) is echoing the call on Parliament to take immediate
action in response to the grave human rights situation in the Philippines.

NUPGE is helping to share a petition to the House of Commons

that outlines a number of ways Canada can intervene.
Deteriorating human rights situation

Under the Duterte government, there has been an increase in attacks on
human rights defenders, activists, and journalists. The COVID-19
pandemic has worsened the situation, as the Duterte government used
emergency measures to further erode human rights and democracy.

In June, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle
Bachelet, released a report

on the human rights situation in the Philippines. The report identified
systematic human rights violations tied to laws and policies pertaining
to national security and public order.

The Council of Global Unions

, which represents 200 million workers, has spoken out against the
attacks on democratic institutions and the suppression of workers’
rights in the Philippines.

In Canada, NUPGE and allied organizations have also been sounding the
alarm on the human rights violations and political repression in the
Philippines, and urging the Canadian government to act.
Petition underlines Canada’s role

Canadian companies and the Canadian government must not be complicit.
For example, the Canadian company OceanaGold operates a mine in Didipio,
Philippines. The people of Didipio opposed the company’s renewal of its
mining permit, which expired in June 2019. In April 2020, the Philippine
National Police violently dispersed community residents, primarily
Indigenous peoples, who were maintaining a peaceful barricade that was
authorized by the municipal and provincial governments.

In response to the human rights situation, the Canada Chapter of the
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and
MiningWatch Canada have initiated the petition to the House of Commons

.. The petition seeks to ensure that Canadian companies abroad are held
accountable for their role in human rights violations and that the
Canadian government is held accountable for its political and financial
support to both Canadian companies in the Philippines and the Duterte
government.
A roadmap for action

The petition outlines concrete ways that the Canadian government can act.

The signatories call upon the House of Commons to:

Strengthen rules for Canadian businesses operating overseas and
uphold human rights;
Make the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise
independent and empowered to compel evidence and witness testimony under
oath;
Enact a human rights due diligence law that compels businesses to
respect international human rights;
Hold hearings on the human rights situation in the Philippines in
the parliamentary human rights committee during the current session of
Parliament;
End Canadian support to the Government of the Philippines,
including socio-economic and financial programming, tactical, logistical
and training support, military sales and defence cooperation; and
Mandate Canadian consular personnel to protect human rights defenders.