A Philippine Human Rights NGO providing Psychosocial Services and Rehabilitation to Internally Displaced Persons and Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence.

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Members of civil society organizations and faith-based associations joined the commemoration of the day when the late President Marcos placed the country under martial law on September 21, 44 years ago.  Carrying pictures of  victims of human rights violations, more than 1,200 participants gathered in the historic Plaza Miranda in Manila to remind the public that an authoritarian government should never be allowed to prevail again.

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Social workers from different municipalities of North Cotabato and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) participated in a study session on documentation and rehabilitation of torture victims in Kidapawan City on September 6 to 9, 2016. The learning event also highlighted the mechanism for monitoring,  reporting, and responding to victims of grave child rights violations in areas affected by armed conflict in Mindanao.

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Around 200 survivors of torture and enforced disappearance and their relatives have started to receive some financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in recognition of their right to rehabilitation under the Anti Torture Act and the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act. The monetary assistance is intended for the purchase of medicines and to pay for basic medical check up of the victims. Some amount are meant to augment their resources for their livelihood projects as well.

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R. A. 9851: A Breakthrough Law for International Humanitarian Law Enforcement in the Philippines

RA-9851Republic Act Number 9851, the new "Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity" signed into law on 11 December 2009, is a breakthrough law for the enforcement of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) as well as human rights in the Philippines. For the first time here, a national statute defines and penalizes "the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole" -- namely, war crimes, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. This could be even more significant than R. A. No. 9745, the "Anti-Torture Act of 2009" signed into law about a month earlier on 10 November 2009. To the credit of the 14th Congress and of the Arroyo administration, they have delivered this significant one-two punch for human rights and IHL and possibly a few more good Pacquiao-like punch combinations, during the "last round" of this Congress and administration before bowing out in mid-2010. But credit is also due to the various human rights and IHL advocates in civil society and in government who have worked long and hard for these and related legislations as well as administrative measures.

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