CIVICUS: 2020 State of Civil Society Report

From: “KARAPATAN Human Rights Update on behalf of publicinfo”
To: “KARAPATAN Human Rights Update on behalf of publicinfo” ; “karapatanhr” ;
Sent: 29/05/2020 4:04:45 PM
Subject: [Karapatan HR update] CIVICUS: 2020 State of Civil Society Report

Dear friends,

We are forwarding the 2020 State of Civil Society Report of CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world.

The 2020 State of Civil Society Report is of, from and for civil society, drawing on over 50 interviews with civil society activists, leaders and experts, and the work of CIVICUS members, networks and partners. The 2020 report comprises five sections addressing key areas of civil society action:

• Civil society action on climate crisis
• Collective action triggered by economic injustice
• Challenging exclusion and claiming rights
• The state of democratic freedoms
• Civil society at the international level

Karapatan Secretary-General Cristina Palabay has been interviewed as one of the 50 civil society activsts, leaders, and experts all over the world for the report’s fifth part on Civil Society at the International Level, where she outlines some of these challenges in relation to human rights compliance in the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte’s government has committed numerous and widespread human rights violations:

Positive actions of the UN to uphold human rights and peoples’ rights are stopped short when it comes to implementation by governments, including that of the Philippines. Governments use a variety of tactics to undermine human rights norms agreed upon through the multilateral platform.

First, they deliberately ignore the UN’s calls, views and recommendations and continue committing human rights violations and crimes against their peoples by distorting human rights principles.

Second, they appear to abide by the UN’s calls, views and recommendations on paper and they flaunt the numerous covenants and agreements that they signed to make it appear that they comply with international human rights instruments, but instead use their being part of the UN as licence for their warmongering and commission of crimes against humanity.

Third, they use the UN to sanitise their image before the international community while still committing a wide array of human rights violations.

She also welcomed in the report the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution on the human rights situation on the Philippines:
In 2019, the UN made a positive difference when the UNHRC adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in the Philippines, which is expected to put into motion stronger international accountability mechanisms with regard to the human rights crisis we face.

The resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines was adopted in July, and it urged the Government of the Philippines to “take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to carry out impartial investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable, in accordance with international norms and standards, including on due process and the rule of law.” It also called upon the government to cooperate with the OHCHR and the mechanisms of the UNHRC, including by allowing country visits and refraining from intimidating or retaliating against human rights defenders. Finally, the resolution requested the OHCHR to prepare and present a comprehensive report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines for follow-up.

Please circulate the report among your networks. You may view and download the report’s executive summary through this link or through the attached PDF file. You may also view and download the full report here: