Australia grants P6M for human rights projects in Philippines
MANILA, Philippines— Australia will provide P6 million (about A$139,000) for various projects that will help promote and address human rights issues in the Philippines, the Australian Embassy in Manila said.
At least six Philippine civil society organizations will receive support from the Australian government through its Karapatan sa Malikhaing Paraan (KaSaMa), a multi-donor initiative that provides funding to groups to implement innovative human rights projects, the embassy said in a statement.
These groups are the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, Lanao Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, Community Management Institute, Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocates Society Inc, Gualandi Volunteer Services Program, and DAKILA-Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism.
“The Australian government is pleased to support these organizations that are working directly on critical human rights challenges–organizations that combine creative new approaches with practical assistance on human rights. The majority of these organizations are also engaging with various levels of government to positively influence policies affecting human rights. We encourage those kinds of collaborations,” said Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith.
Through KaSaMa, Australia is supporting projects on paralegal training to increase skills and knowledge of human rights advocates; mainstreaming rights-based approaches in local development planning; working with the Philippine National Police to ensure human rights are respected during investigations; promotion of women’s rights, practical anti-human trafficking measures, and elimination of gender-based violence; human rights education for schools and communities using films; and advocacy against sexual abuse and exploitation of deaf children.
Australian support also has a particular emphasis on disability and women and children’s welfare and rights.
Partnerships with various non-government organizations help increase awareness about human rights among people with disabilities and empower them as advocates and active participants in shaping inclusive community development, Smith stressed.
Australia is also currently supporting the Commission on Human Rights with practical help to build specific skills and competencies necessary for their oversight role.
Smith assured the Philippine government that it would continue to work with its agencies, including the Commission on Human Rights, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and civil society groups in the country to actively protect and promote respect for human rights.
“Despite the encouraging declines in the number of human rights violations in the Philippines in recent years, there is still more to be done,” he said. We believe that strong and effective institutions and a legal system that enjoys the people’s trust are fundamental to achieving human rights for all,” he said.
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