PHILIPPINES: BWI Congress condemns drug war and attacks on human rights

BWI affiliate the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) visiting striking workers in Quezon City, Philippines on International Human Rights Day. 

The BWI World Congress in Durban has adopted a resolution condemning the drug war in the Philippines and the attack on human rights by the Duterte Government.

Since coming into power, the Duterte regime’s all-out war on drugs has victimized 8,000-13,000 lives and increasingly drug trafficking and crime have been used to justify the persecution of political opponents and the destruction of democratic institutions. For trade unions and other civil society organisations, this represents a serious threat to their ongoing mission and their ability to manifest real change for Filipino citizens.   

“Working people across the globe cannot stand by and watch these rampant violations of human rights without speaking up,” said BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson. “While this administration was elected on a platform of change, more than anything what has transpired has been an absolute rollback of the democratic project. We condemn this endeavor in the strongest terms, and strongly support the call for a return to peace and justice.”

“Worse still, the dismantling of checks and balance – including the initiation of impeachment proceedings against the Chief Justice and the Ombudsman, and the dramatic budget cuts imposed on the Human Rights Commission – are insulating the administration from justice. We urge the Government to rescind these measures and comply with the fundamental norms of international law.”

The resolution was adopted with unanimous support of the 130 trade unions from nearly 100 countries present at the Congress.  The Congress enjoins all BWI affiliates support the promotion and protection of human and trade union rights in the Philippines. Further, the BWI General Secretary has been mandated to continue monitoring the trade union and human rights situation in the Philippines and to regularly deliver reports to the BWI World Board.