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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Latest News

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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BALAY Celebrates its 26th Year Anniversary

Balay community members gathered at the Balay office last September 30 to celebrate the organization's 26th founding anniversary. The activity, which started at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, was opened with a solemn community prayer of thanksgiving followed by a sharing of each person's experience in working with Balay.

With the theme of "Owning our reason for being and new-found spirituality; our journey continues!" the participants exchanged stories, life's lessons and insights about the rich and colorful moments they had as part of the organization. The sharing revolved around what they think was the meaning or reason behind their decision to join Balay in its journey to promote human rights and contribute to societal change. The results of the sharing can only be described as rich, emotional and full of wisdom. Both the newcomers and veteran members of Balay learned a lot about each other. At the end of the process, the group affirmed their commitment to continue the legacy of and to contribute to the attainment of a free and humane society as envisioned by the founding pillars of Balay 26 years ago.

Balay was established on September 27, 1985 by the late Sen. Jose Diokno and Dr. Mita Pardo de Tavera primarily to cater to the needs of political prisoners incarcerated during the Martial Law regime of President Marcos. It also served as a half-way house for newly released political prisoners, undergoing psychosocial rehabilitation program to help regain their capacities for active participation in the family, community and societal affairs.

Sen. Diokno headed the first Presidential Committee on Human Rights (PCHR) which served as the precursor of the Commission on Human Right (CHR). Before his death, he was the chief negotiator of the government in the first peace talks with the revolutionary National Democratic Front (NDF). Dr. Mita Pardo de Tavera served as the first secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) following the ousted of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

A modest dinner was shared by everybody. Capping the activity was the forging and strengthening the commitments of everyone present. Likewise, a prayer of remembrance was also offered for the Balay members who have already passed away.