Protection for Human Rights Defenders

The human rights situation in the Philippines is marked by various human rights violations that drastically increased within the past years. Human rights defenders (HRDs) who dare to speak up, write or advocate for rights and/or assist marginalized groups are being harassed, threatened, incarcerated, killed or forcibly disappeared. The Action Network Human Rights – Philippines (amp) has therefore decided to take a deeper look at various protection measures available for human rights defenders from the Philippines.

The following list is an overview of a number of programs, guides and tools, yet it does not claim to be complete. Comments and additions are welcome. The presentation is in alphabetical order and focuses on the name of the program, the funding or convening organization, the scope of the measure(s), the eligibility, and application process and/ or contact. Links provide access to further information. Most of the programs address individual HRDs while some also address organizations under threat.

Aside from the listed programs some of the amp member organizations such as Brot für die Welt, MISEREOR or the United Evangelical Mission have their own emergency related programs for their direct partners and can be contacted individually by their partner organizations.

Should you have further questions or comments, kindly contact

In-country protection measures

The in-country protection measures consist of programs that provide financial support to increase the physical security of the HRD, to respond to work related health emergencies or to legal or psychosocial necessities while the HRD remains in the Philippines. It also includes political support through government programs (e.g. Parliamentarians protect Parliamentarians).

Regional Protection Measures

The listed regional protection measures entail programs that offer temporary relocation to HRDs within the Asian region. The funding organization usually provides the financial means to a NGO or Church that hosts the HRD. Pre-established relations with possible host organizations are an asset. Some of the programs under international protection measures also include the regional relocation.

International Protection Measures

The listed international protection measures entail programs that offer temporary relocation and/or capacity building to HRDs mostly in but not limited to Europe. As far as temporary relocation programs for threatened HRDs are concerned a funding organization often provides the financial means to an NGO or Church that hosts the HRD. Pre-established relations with possible host organizations are an asset. In other cases Universities, Cities or the funding organization itself host the HRD. The application process, duration of the stay and conditionalities differ.

Digital security

The list includes a helpline to turn to if there is an urgent digital security concern as well as tools and trainings that provide knowledge and concrete steps to improve the digital security of hardware and online activities.

Self-care and wellbeing

The listed guides aim to raise awareness about psycho-social challenges and means of self-care in the field of human rights work and activism. How can activism be sustained without getting bitter or burning out? There are already a couple of overview pages which can be accessed through the links below. The booklet “What’s the point of revolution if we can’t dance” is a collection of experiences and reflections related to well-being and activism.