‘Human Rights 101’

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in its Preamble mentions the “inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.” Human rights are not granted by the government, nor do they arise from citizenship in a country. Human rights are rights, which necessarily spring from being a member of the human species. It is universal, inherent, equal and inalienable.

The State is not the giver of human rights but it is its guarantor. As such, the State may be held accountable when people are deprived of their rights by its action or inaction. The people, on the other hand, must know their human rights, which include not only the relationship between the people and the government, but also the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development and a peaceful and clean environment.

The Homebook on International and Philippine Human Rights Laws, authored by Pepita Jane A. Petraba, (2013 Edition), provides an excellent summary of Philippine Jurisprudence on Human Rights, which includes the following:

The Philippine Constitution— contains the Bill of Rights; lays down the bases for all the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of persons.

Rights of the child

REPUBLIC Act (RA) 9344—Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006

RA 7610—Law Against Child Abuse

RA 9231—Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

RA 9775—Law Against Child Pornography

RA 8044—Youth in Nation-Building Act

RA 6972—Act Establishing Day Care Centers in Every Barangay

Presidential Decrees (PD) 603—The Child and Youth Welfare Code

Rights of women

RA 9262—Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children

RA 10364—The Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012

RA 9710—Magna Carta of Women

RA 7877—Law Against Sexual Harassment

Act 4112—Women Suffrage Act

PD 633, as amended—Creating the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women

Executive Order (EO) 273—Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development

Pres. Proc. 1172—Campaign to End Violence Against Women

RA 6955—Act Against Mail Order Brides

Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons (LGBT)

Ang Ladlad v. Comelec, April 8, 2010

Rights of Senior Citizens             

RA 7432—Senior Citizen’s Act

RA 7876—Senior Citizen Center Act

RA 9994—Expanded Senior Citizen Act

Rights of Disabled Persons

BATAS Pambasa 344—An Act to Enable The Mobility of Disabled Persons

RA 7277—Magna Carta of Disabled Persons

RA 9442—Law Amending the Magna Carta of Disabled Persons

RA 10070—Act requiring the creation of Persons with Disability Affairs Office by local government units

Department of the Interior and Local Government Memoramdum Circular (DILG MC) 2009-37—On issuance of identification cards and purchase booklets for PWDs

DILG MC 2009-29—On community-based programs for children with disability

Adm. 35—Directing departments, bureaus, agencies and educational institutions to conduct activities during the annual observance of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week

Rights of Workers and Laborers

PD 442, as amended—Labor Code of the Philippines, incorporating the New Labor Relations Law and the Prohibition of Discrimination Against Women

RA 8024—Migrant Workers Act

RA 10022—Law amending the Migrant Workers Act

RA 8187—Paternity Leave Act

Right to social security

RA 8282, amending RA 1161—The Social Security Law

RA 8291—The Government Service Insurance System Act

Right to Health

RA 7875—National Health Insurance Act

Pres. Proc. 46—Child and Mother Immunization Project

Right to a healthy environment

Oposa v. Factoran, July 30, 1993

Right to privacy

SUPREME Court A.M. 08-1-16-SC—The Rule on Habeas Data

RA 9995—Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act

RA 10173—ata Privacy Act of 2012

Right to life, liberty and security

The Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012

RA 9745—Anti-Torture Act

The Rule on the Writ of Amparo Administrative Order (AO) 181—Investigation and Prosecution of Political and Media Killings

AO 197—Enforced Disappearances and Killings

Remedies of unjustly arrested and/or detained persons

RA 7309—Law Creating the Board of Claims

Rule 102, Rules of Court—the Rule on Habeas Corpus

Rule 9439—Law Against Hospital Detention

RA 10368—Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013

Rights of accused, victims and witnesses of crimes

RA 8505—Rape Victims Assistance Act

RA 6981—Witness Protection Act

RA 999—Free Legal Assistance Act

RA 9346—Law Abolishing Death Penalty

Bill of Rights, Philippine Constitution

Rule 115, Revised Rules of Court

Other human rights violations penalized

Act 3815—Revised Penal Code of the Philippines Human Rights mechanisms

EO 163—Creating the Commission on Human Rights

RA 9201—National Human Rights Consciousness Week

PD 443—On Delivery of Social Services

With the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao for another year, there is fear that martial law will be extended to the whole country. And with martial law, apprehension that a dictator will rear its ugly head and human rights violations will necessarily follow. The only way to check abuse of power is to know your human rights and to resort to judicial remedies when aggrieved. After all, we still follow a rule of law, despite those in high places who believe that power comes from the barrel of a gun.

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