The Australia-Philippines Policy Forum on Human Rights
(L-R) Ambassador Rod Smith,
DoJ Secretary Leila De Lima and
The Hon Catherine Branson QC
The Australian Embassy and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines organised a public forum on human rights for its 14th Australia-Philippines Policy Forum on 17 June 2010 at the Crowne Plaza Galleria Hotel.
More than 200 participants from Philippine government, NGOs, academe and media attended the forum which served as a useful platform to explore the human rights challenges of Australia and the Philippines.
The forum featured prominent Australian and Filipino speakers including The Hon Catherine Branson QC, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno and former CHR Chairperson now Secretary of Justice, Leila M. de Lima.
Other speakers included Congressman Lorenzo Tañada III, CHR Commissioner Cecilia Rachel Quisumbing, Department of Justice Undersecretary Linda Hornilla, Centre of Media Freedom and Responsibility Executive Director Melinda Quintos-De Jesus and the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team Executive Director, Dr Jose Pablo Baraybar.
The event coincided with the signing of a Declaration of Cooperation to enhance the CHR's capabilities in areas such as forensics. Australia’s assistance will enable EPAF and the CHR to work together to improve the CHR’s investigative capacity and the effectiveness by which it responds to allegations of human rights violations.