Stavenhagen's visit to the Philippines
Updated March 2004
In December 2002 Rodolfo Stavenhagen made an official visit to the Philippines where he engaged in dialogue with the government as well as with indigenous organizations and communities. He presented his report on the visit to the Human Rights Commission in April 2003.
Indigenous organizations' follow-up on the visit
During 2003 indigenous organizations started a process of following up on Stavenhagen's visit and monitoring the government's implementation of his recommendations. From 24 to 27 February 2004, a National Workshop of Indigenous Peoples on Human Rights was held in the capital Manila, attended by more than 100 indigenous representatives from all over the country. The aim of the workshop was to make an assessment of the human rights situation of indigenous peoples since the visit of the Special Rapporteur in December 2002.
Hundreds of cases of human rights violations documented throughout 2003 were presented during the workshop. Violations range from forced evacuations, hamletting, arbitrary arrests, illegal detention and food blockades, to torture, massacres and murders. In general no justice has been brought to the victims and their relatives.
The final document of the National Workshop includes a number of demands to the government and plans for action by indigenous peoples themselves aimed at promoting and protecting the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of indigenous peoples.