PH under UN scrutiny

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THE Philippines will be under scrutiny next week when human rights experts from the United Nations starts reviewing the country’s implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

In an advisory, the UN said the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will conduct the review on September 28 and 29 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Philippines is among 164 states that ratified the ICESCR thus is required to undergo review by the committee, the UN said.

The committee, which is composed of 18 independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, will discuss a range of issues relating to the Philippines’ implementation of the ICESCR with a Philippine delegation.
Expected to be covered by the review are cultural rights, right to physical and mental health, right to an adequate standard of living, right to social security, right to freely dispose of natural wealth and resources, non-discrimination, and protection of the family, mothers and children; among others.

The committee is expected to assess the Philippines’ compliance with its human rights obligations under the treaty in a report to be released on October 10.

Along with the Philippines, other countries that will undergo a review are Costa Rica, Cyprus, Poland, Tunisia, Lebanon and Dominican Republic.

Charles Jose, spokesperson and assistant secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the spate of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines will not be discussed.

“This review is a regular thing as part of our obligation as a signatory to the treaty,” he said.

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