AMP discusses Philippines' GSP+ status in European Parliament
On March 20, the Aktionsbündnis Menschenrechte – Philippinen together with MEP Barbara Lochbihler and our partners of Sri Lanka Advocacy co-organized a roundtable discussion in the European Parliament on the strengths and weaknesses of the EU’s trade preference scheme GSP+ as a mechanism to promote human rights. Under the GSP+ program the EU reduces import tariffs for countries like the Philippines and Sri Lanka which have to undergo a rigorous human rights monitoring in exchange.
During the debate, Mr. Ellecer Carlos from the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) stressed that the massive and rapid deterioration of the human rights situation in the Philippines is not limited to the Duterte’s War on Drugs which has already cost the lives of an estimated 13,000 people. Rather, the government is also systematically dismantling democratic and judicial institutions and is cracking down on civil society.
Carlos therefore asked the EU to issue clear criteria the Philippine government needs to fulfill to keep its trade preferences. These should include an immediate end of the police operations in the War on Drugs and an invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, to visit the country.