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MAG envisions a society where fundamental human rights are upheld and protected at all times in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights

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WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (hereinafter referred to as "ASEAN"), namely Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on the occasion of the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

REAFFIRMING our adherence to the purposes and principles of ASEAN as enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, in particular the respect for and promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance;

REAFFIRMING FURTHER our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and other international human rights instruments to which ASEAN Member States are parties;

REAFFIRMING ALSO the importance of ASEAN’s efforts in promoting human rights, including the Declaration of the Advancement of Women in the ASEAN Region and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region;

CONVINCED that this Declaration will help establish a framework for human rights cooperation in the region and contribute to the ASEAN community building process;

 

19-11-2012

The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) welcomes the adoption of the UN Committee Against Torture’s General Comment on Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture. This is an important step forward in ensuring that torture victims receive adequate redress and reparations including rehabilitation services.

Miriam Reventlow, Head of Legal and Advocacy for the IRCT, says, “For too long, States have ignored their obligation to provide rehabilitation services to torture victims and left it to NGOs to deliver these crucial services. This General Comment not only makes clear that providing rehabilitation services is a clear obligation of States regardless of available resources, it also provides a very valuable contribution to determining what these services must contain and when and by whom should provide them.”

Press release

November 15, 2012

Impunity and insufficient evidence in torture cases against alleged perpetrators are still among the serious impediments to the prevention of torture. Consequently, few complaints are brought forward and few actual prosecutions are made.

To help fight torture, the Medical Action Group (MAG), with support from the British Embassy Manila signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) that will provide training for investigators and prosecutors for a more effective and efficient investigation and prosecution of torture cases in the country.

In a media briefing at DOJ, Mr. Steph Lysaght, Political Section Head of the British Embassy Manila said the British Embassy’ project with the MAG and in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) aims to enhance the capacity of the investigators on investigations and evidence collection and to provide necessary knowledge and skills for the prosecutors on how physical and medical evidences are evaluated in court proceedings on alleged torture cases according to the Anti-Torture Law (Republic Act No. 9745) and international standards contained in the UN Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“the Istanbul Protocol”).

Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report of the Philippines, adopted by the Committee at its 106th session, 15 October to 2 November

 

17. The Committee is concerned at continued allegations of torture and the lack of data on the incidence of torture, particularly on the number of investigations, prosecutions, convictions and sanctions imposed on perpetrators of torture in the State party (art. 7).

The State party should take appropriate measures to improve the conduct of investigations of alleged torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement personnel. The State party should ensure that allegations of torture and ill-treatment are effectively investigated in accordance with the Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (General Assembly Resolution 55/89); and that alleged perpetrators are prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with appropriate sanctions; and that the victims are adequately compensated. The State party should establish a system to collect data on the number of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, sanctions and compensation granted to victims of torture or members of their families, and report comprehensively about these figures in its next report.

19. While welcoming efforts by the State party to improve conditions of detention and imprisonment such as early release, the Committee regrets the high levels of overcrowding and the poor conditions of incarceration prevailing in detention centres and prisons which often operate beyond their capacities (arts. 2 and 10).

The State party should increase its efforts to improve the conditions of detained persons and prisoners. It should address the issues of sanitation and overcrowding as a matter of priority, including through resort to the wider application of alternative forms of punishment.

 

By Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

A Filipino doctor is among the 12 new members of a committee in the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, a local group disclosed on Friday.

Dr. June Pagaduan Lopez, founder of Medical Action Group (MAG), was elected as a member of UN Anti-Torture Committee’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT).

In a statement, MAG congratulated Lopez for bringing Pinoy honor, by serving as one of the experts who will monitor detention conditions in more than 60 countries around the world until 2016.

"This will considerably strengthen the mandate of the SPT in torture prevention particularly in the field of mental health rehabilitation of torture survivors and their families," the group said.