Message at the Trust-building dialogue between the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the security sector

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Trust-building dialogue between the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the security sector, 3 November 2021, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines via Zoom | 03 November 2021
  • Our government partners from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Justice (DOJ), and National Prosecution Service (NPS);
  • Our security sector partners from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP);
  • Colleagues from ILO Manila and Bangkok;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
Before I start, I would like to note that this is our first event with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) since the passing of Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon. May I once again convey the ILO’s deepest sympathies to our partners from CHR. Under his leadership, we have reached greater heights, as seen in our collaboration today.

We are here today to discuss labour rights and freedom of association (FOA) and build trust and confidence between the CHR and the security forces.

This trust-building dialogue supports government, workers, employers in the Philippines – our tripartite constituents to address the long-standing issues observed by the ILO supervisory bodies, such as:
  • Preventing violence against legitimate activities of trade unionists;
  • Undertake efficient and effective investigations; and
  • Operationalize monitoring bodies, such as AO35, the DOLE Regional Tripartite Monitoring Bodies (RTMBs) and the CHR’s own mechanisms, to protect labour rights
Building trust and confidence will play a role in strengthening coordination between the CHR and the security sector to address these allegations and incidences of labour rights violations, and hold to account the perpetrators, be they state or non-state actors.

Social dialogue is the best way to strengthen of trust and confidence. The Global Call to Action and the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines both highlighted the importance of social dialogue. It is key to achieve a human-centred recovery from COVID-19 that is fully inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.

With social dialogue as the basis of cooperation, the CHR, the Security Sector, DOLE, DOJ AO35, trade unions and other stakeholders can work together towards effective application of international labour standards and FOA principles.

Today’s dialogue, which will be facilitated by the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), will focus on providing a venue to freely discuss concerns on labour-related cases and challenges in the investigation process; identifying possible arrangements that can be conducted by the CHR and security forces to address these issues; and, analyzing issues concerning the Joint 2011 and 2012 Guidelines on the conduct of the police and security forces in relation to labour disputes and workers’ rights.

We are grateful to our RBSA donors from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden for the support.

We also acknowledge your presence and participation as we look forward to your insights. Together, we can help the Philippines ensure its commitments to protect workers’ civil liberties and human rights.

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!