Institutional, technical, and operational capacity strengthening of the CHR





Making Data Work for Women: Capacity Building and Workshop for the Regional Mapping of Legal Referral Mechanisms on Gender-based Violence, 2 -3 April 2019, Pasig City.

The GOJUST Human Rights Project supports the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in strengthening its institutional, operational, and technical capacity in order to better carry out its mandate to protect and promote human rights and to fight against impunity for human rights violations.

 

In the area of institutional strengthening, the Project backs CHR’s efforts to foster effectiveness and efficiency in human resources and performance management, as well as in business processes and automation. It works  towards the following: (1) developing a competency framework based on enhanced organisational structure;  (2) harnessing case management capacity; (3) harmonizing ICT solutions including data and knowledge management; (4) aligning Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS) and Quality Management System (QMS) at the central and regional offices; (5) introducing a change management process to strengthen the institution’s reform initiatives; (6) ensuring gender awareness and sensitivity among its personnel; and (7) mainstreaming a human rights-based approach (HRBA) and transitional justice perspective in its work. 

 

In the realm of operational and capacity development, the Project boosts CHR’s investigative capacity through (1) the development and conduct of a competency-based investigation training, also called “ladderized” training programme; (2) the improvement of its Quick Response Operations (QRT); (3) the updating of its procedural manual; and (4) the establishment and institutionalization of an Analysis Unit that reviews cases of critical human rights violations and provide recommendations and the formation of a task force on extra-judicial killings.

 

The Project also assists the CHR in activating the Interim National Preventive Mechanism (INPM), which can be harnessed for responding to cases of torture, in compliance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. In line with efforts to improve jail conditions, the CHR has partnered with the UP Women Lawyer’s Circle (WILOCI) and the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation (HLAF) for the provision of legal assistance in selected detention facilities. Legal assistance in processing cases of inmates is expected to release ‘overstaying’ persons deprived of liberty (PDLs), thereby contributing to jail decongestion.  From June 2019, with GOJUST HR’s assistance, the partnership resulted in the release of 31 PDLs, legal assistance to 847, and paralegal training to 125

INPM visit to Quezon City Female Dormitory: Orientation and interviews with PDLs and Officials, 4 Octobers 2019, Quezon City.

The Project helps the CHR roll out effective remedies for victims of human rights violations by establishing multi-sectoral hubs for victim support, in cooperation with civil society organizations (CSOs). A Victim Support Unit and corresponding victim support referral system will be created under this strand of work. 

Photo (L-R): Deputy Ombudsman Cyril Ramos, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, CHR Chairperson Jose Luis Gascon, and CHR Commissioner Leah Armamento. Signing Ceremony between the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Human Rights, 17 July 2018, Quezon City. 

Cooperation between key government institutions and the CHR for human rights protection is also backed by the Project. The partnership between the CHR and Office of the Ombudsman builds capacity for handling and resolving air-tight cases.  The Project, through the CHR, mounted a series of capacity development activities that integrates the human rights perspective for the members of Administrative Order (AO) 35 Inter-Agency Committee and its other mechanisms. AO 35 creates the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture, and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life and Security of Persons Inter-Agency Committee. The Project hopes that its support to the robust partnership between the CHR and the defunct Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) planted the seed for an even stronger relationship with the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC).


In recognition of the paramount role of education in the promotion and protection of human rights, the CHR has developed innovative modules for inclusion in school curriculums in partnership with Church-based communities and schools, through engagements with the Institute of Church and Social Issues.


Finally, to further enhance the work environment and facilities of the Commission to positively impact the delivery of services to human rights stakeholders, the Project funded the construction of three Regional Office Buildings, a multi-media center, and a knowledge management center.