Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR081215- Australia continues support for human rights in the Philippines


Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Rod Smith has announced Australia will provide Php 2 million to help build the capacity of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights.

“The Australian Government, through our aid program managed by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), is assisting partner Governments to respect, protect and fulfil their international human rights obligations,” Ambassador Smith said.

“Both the governments of Australia and the Philippines recognise that respect for human rights is vital to poverty alleviation and sustainable development.”

“Australia has a strong record in the protection and promotion of international human rights.”

The project “Promoting Independent, Impartial and Effective Investigation of Human Rights Violations”, funded through Australia’s Human Rights Small Grants Scheme (HRSGS) and to be implemented by The Asia Foundation, will help build the capacity of investigators and medical doctors in the Philippine Commission on Human Rights to understand, gather and use forensic evidence in investigating human rights violations.

Training in forensics will enable the Commission on Human Rights to produce accurate investigation reports of human rights violations. The project will also help facilitate better and increased coordination between the Commission on Human Rights and the Department of Justice in preparing prosecution-ready human rights cases.

In recent years through the Human Rights Small Grants Scheme, Australian assistance to the Philippines has included training workshops addressing enforced and involuntary disappearances, human rights advocacy and youth advocates for human rights education.

This further contribution to the Philippines is part of Australia’s commitment of about Php47 million (A$1.5 million) in 2008-09 to projects promoting human rights in 19 countries, across the Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

Australia was one of 47 original signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has been a leading proponent of the Declaration's consistent and comprehensive implementation during the past 60 years.

Australia's commitment to the aims and purposes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an underlying principle of Australia's engagement with the international community.