Study report on human rights in peace agreements
in the Philippines and Mindanao
14 November 2006
L-R: Prof. Sedfrey Candelaria, Atty. Nabil Tan,
Prof. Raul Pangalangan, Rep. Satur Ocampo, Mr. Robert Archer, Atty.
Sol Santos, Atty. Cecilia Jimenez, Rep. Etta Rosales & Datu
Can a human rights framework help our floundering peace processes?
The 2006 study report of the Geneva-based International Council
on Human Rights Policy (ICHRP) was launched last week in the Philippines
and Mindanao at a time that peace remains elusive despite several
finished and ongoing peace processes. Will a fresh and new perspective
of "human rights in peace agreements" help add impetus
to some of these floundering processes?
These questions were addressed during the Philippine and Mindanao
launching-forums of the ICHRP titled "Negotiating Justice?
Human Rights and Peace Agreements" organized the new Filipino-led
global initiative South-South Network (SSN) represented by its Regional
Focal Points for Asia Atty. Soliman M. Santos Jr. and for Europe
Atty. Cecilia Jimenez, in cooperation with its Mindanao partner
Technical Assistance Center for the Development of Rural and Urban
Poor (TACDRUP) led by its Executive Director Rey Magno Teves.
The Philippine launching-forum was held on November 14 at the Discovery
Suites, Ortigas Center, Pasig City while the Mindanao launching-forum
was held on November 16 at the Apo View Hotel, Davao City.
The ICHRP report examines the experience with human rights provisions
and monitoring mechanisms in the peace agreements of eight countries,
namely Cambodia 1991, El Salvador 1992, Mozambique 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina
1995, Guatemala 1996, Northern Ireland 1998, Sierra Leone 1999,
and Burundi 2000. In the process, it discusses how human rights
standards can be used constructively in peace processes.
The report develops three main themes to identify areas of tension
and complementation between human rights and justice, on one hand,
and conflict resolution and peace, on the other hand. These are
the themes of frameworks for protection of civilians, forcible displacement
of communities, and impunity and accountability for past abuses.
ICHRP Executive Director Robert Archer presented the report. Reactors
at the Philippine launching-forum on November 14 included Prof.
Sedfrey M. Candelaria, member of the GRP peace panel for talks with
the NDF, and Datu Michael O. Mastura, member of the MILF peace panel.
Reactors at the Mindanao launching-forum on November 16 were Atty.
Carlos Isagani T. Zarate, former president of the IBP Davao City
Chapter, and Atty. Mary Ann M. Arnado, leading Mindanao peace advocate.
Key stakeholders and concerned sectors in the areas of human rights
and peace processes were invited to both launching-forums. Their
participation in the open forum drew out the relevance of the report
to the Philippine and Mindanao armed conflicts and peace processes
on the Communist and Moro fronts of the country. DOWNLOAD
FINAL REPORT HERE