Philippines should ratify International Convention for the Protection against Enforced Disappearance

On May 29, 2024, as part of the 2nd Franco-German Human Rights Gathering, the Manila-based embassies of Germany and France called on the Philippine government to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED). This appeal was made on the occasion of the International Week of the Disappeared, which takes place every year in the last week of May.

The national law on enforced disappearance (Republic Act 10353 or Anti Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act), which came into force almost 12 years ago, has not yet been utilized. The organization Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) has documented a total of 2,173 cases of enforced disappearance since the dictatorship under Ferdinand Marcos Sr. until 2023, of which hardly any cases were uncovered.

On May 12, 2024, Representative Edcel Lagman stressed that President Marcos Jr.’s recently established Special Committee on Human Rights Coordination (Administrative Order 22) must be accompanied by the immediate ratification of the ICPPED and the passage of the national Human Rights Defenders Protection Act (HRDP). Lagman also suggested that the committee should include representatives of civil society with experience in human rights work.


Photo: Development worker Elena Tijamo who was forcibly disappeared in 2020 in Cebu and was found dead in a hospital in Manila in 2021 © FARDEC

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