Today the residents of Corazon de Jesus, a community in San Juan City, Metro Manila, filed an Individual Complaint before the Human Rights Committee. The Complaint seeks accountability and remedies from the government of the Philippines for the brutal forced eviction of the community that took place last year. The Complaint also seeks a permanent halt to any further evictions.
As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Philippines is legally obligated to not violate the terms of this human rights treaty, which include a prohibition on forced evictions.
The residents are represented by Defend Job Philippines, a human rights organization based in the Philippines; the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, an international human rights NGO; and the International Human Rights Clinic at the New England University School of Law in the U.S.
According to Melona Daclan of Defend Job Philippines, “The Corazon de Jesus community has resorted to international human rights law to seek accountability for these egregious human rights violations because the courts in the Philippines have refused to enforce the human rights laws that are to protect the citizens of the Philippines.”
Bret Thiele, Co-Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, added that “international scrutiny is necessary to bring to an end the impunity with which forced evictions are carried out in the Philippines.”
The Human Rights Committee is an impartial, independent human rights mechanism sitting in Geneva, Switzerland and is mandated with ensuring compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Philippines became a party to the Covenant in 1986 and three years later voluntarily accepted the Individual Complaint mechanism whereby victims of human rights violations can seek to hold States accountable to their human rights obligations and seek remedies when those obligations are violated.