The European Union reiterated its commitment to promote human rights and to eliminate torture during a forum, “End Torture in the Philippines” with the Medical Action Group (MAG) and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) held in Makati City. This event took place to mark the "International Day in Support of Victims of Torture".
"Torture is not only a tragedy for its victims – it is also degrading for those who perpetrate it, and inevitably it harms the welfare of societies which tolerate such outrages", EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said.
It is recognised that positive gains have been made by the Aquino administration in its efforts to stop the practice of torture in the Philippines. There is a need to end the culture of impunity by bringing perpetrators to justice and to encourage all stakeholders to double their collective efforts. "While a significant improvement to the legal environment in torture prevention in the Philippines through the enactment of the Anti-Torture Law in 2009 can be noted, much still needs to be done to implement it and hold those responsible for torture cases accountable", he said.
World - travel advice on MERS-CoV for pilgrimages
World Health Organization interim travel advice on MERS-CoV for pilgrimages to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
25 July 2013
An outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), first reported in 2012, has affected nine countries to date. WHO is coordinating the global response to this emerging virus according to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). This paper provides guidance to national authorities of countries from which pilgrims will be travelling in the coming months for Umra and Hajj for the prevention, detection and management of imported cases of MERS-CoV. At this time, the risk to an individual pilgrim of contracting MERS-CoV is considered very low.
II. Effective communication of risk information
It is important for countries to use all practical and effective means possible to communicate information on a range of issues before, during and after Umra and Hajj to all key groups, including the following:
- travellers to Umra and Hajj, particularly vulnerable groups within this population;
- public health officials;
- health care staff responsible for the care of ill pilgrims;
- public transportation and tourism industries; and
- the general public.
The Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) [IHR (2005)] was held by teleconference on Monday 28 April 2014 from 13:30 to 17:30 Geneva time (CET) and on Tuesday 29 April 2014 from 13:30 to 19:00 Geneva time (CET).
Members of the Emergency Committee and expert advisors to the Committee met on both days of the meeting.1 The following affected States Parties participated in the informational session of the meeting on Monday 28 April 2014: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic.
During the informational session, the WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of recent progress in stopping endemic and imported polioviruses and the international spread of wild polioviruses in 2014 as of 26 April. The above affected States Parties presented on recent developments in their countries.
After discussion and deliberation on the information provided, and in the context of the global polio eradication initiative, the Committee advised that the international spread of polio to date in 2014 constitutes an ‘extraordinary event’ and a public health risk to other States for which a coordinated international response is essential. The current situation stands in stark contrast to the near-cessation of international spread of wild poliovirus from January 2012 through the 2013 low transmission season for this disease (i.e. January to April). If unchecked, this situation could result in failure to eradicate globally one of the world’s most serious vaccine preventable diseases. It was the unanimous view of the Committee that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have been met.