Take Action to ensure that Canadian funding to the Government of the Philippines does not harm human rights defenders.

Human Rights defenders are not Terrorists
Human Rights defenders are not Terrorists

KAIROS joins the United Church and a growing number of churches and civil society organizations in expressing grave concern that the Canadian government is inadvertently enabling continued attacks on human rights and human rights defenders by providing financial, programmatic, and technical support to the Government of the Philippines. Canada risks being complicit in extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and irregular arrests and detentions, vilification and harassment campaigns, and other severe human rights violations associated with the counter-insurgency campaign.

In July 2020, the Government of the Philippines approved the Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows attacks on the basic rights of its critics in the name of fighting “terrorism.” The Act’s definition of terrorism remains vague enough that it blurs the distinction between legitimate criticism of the government and criminality.

On May 10, KAIROS together with The United Church of Canada, The Anglican Church of Canada, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and The Presbyterian Church in Canada, sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Mélanie Joly, expressing these concerns and calling on the government of Canada to:

  • disclose information on the monitoring process for projects aimed at building the capacity of the military, police, and other security agencies in the Philippines to fight terrorism;
  • withdraw support from the Philippine Government’s counter-terrorism campaign;
  • call on the Philippine Government to repeal the Anti-Terrorism Law.

Take Action

Now, we are asking you to do the same.   Please take a few minutes, follow The United Church of Canada Action and write a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister The Honourable Mélanie Joly and your local MP.   We need as many voices as possible to call on the Canadian government to ensure that our funding to the Government of the Philippines protects and does not harm human rights defenders.

Filed in: Global South, Human Rights, Philippines, Social Justice

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