Human rights monitoring and data management are strengthened through the establishment of the Human Rights Observatory
An human rights observatory on indigenous peoples is part of the Human Rights Observatory, an online hub that gathers and processes data on human rights.
Access to information affects the quality of one’s citizenship, once remarked a leading intellectual of Philippine civil society. The Human Rights Observatory (HRO) proceeds from the need to manage data and monitor information effectively as a basis for sound policies and interventions. It is a monitoring and evaluation system that tracks the state’s implementation of its human rights obligations.
The HRO is an online repository that gathers, in a timely, systematic, and reliable manner, information on the human rights situation in the country. This includes policies, programs, and projects of the National Government that contribute to determining and realizing the rights of Filipinos.
Data gathered and analysed through the HRO form the basis for the reporting on the national human rights situation. The system will eventually allow the CHR to improve its treaty/charter-based reporting, its annual Gender Ombud reporting, its human rights situation reporting, and its reporting on the human rights dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In sum, the HRO has the following key activities: (1) Data and Knowledge Management; (2) Human Rights Situation Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning; (3) Research on thematic areas; (4) Publication of Human Rights Situation Report; and (5) Development and management of web portal with onsite/offsite database.
At present, the HRO is set up across four thematic and sectoral concerns that are pertinent to the human rights situation of the most vulnerable sectors in the Philippines. The four smaller observatories are: (1) the Gender-based Violence Observatory, (2) the Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights Observatory, (3) the Climate Action and Human Rights Observatory, (4) and the Migrant Rights Observatory. There are plans to expand the focus to other thematic areas in the future.
The Gender-based Violence Observatory contains 2016 Gender Ombud Guidelines, gender-related treaties, laws, and jurisprudence, and other knowledge products. This observatory has been designated as the central repository of gender-related data from the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children (IAC VAWC). Members of the IAC VAWC, which include the Philippine Commission on Women, the Philippine National Police, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, provide data to the Observatory.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights Observatory (IPRO) features results from the National Inquiry on the Human Rights Situation of Indigenous Peoples, which were mounted in different areas across the country. Findings from the national inquiry touch on the rights to ancestral domain and land, to self-governance and empowerment, and to social justice and human rights. The IPRO prioritizes community-based dialogue (CBD) as a mechanism to determine human rights issues prevailing in select areas, and corresponding relevant legal frameworks and human rights principles.
The Climate Action and Human Rights Observatory houses proceedings and knowledge products from the National Inquiry on Climate Change (NICC) and from a series of roundtable discussions held in London, New York, Netherlands, and Scotland. The inquiry was triggered by the filing of a case before the CHR on the accountability of ‘carbon majors’ for climate change and human rights abuses.
The CHR is a partner of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in monitoring and ensuring the fulfillment of their rights. The Migrant Rights Observatory (MRO) assists the OFWs, in partnership with the Philippine government and other countries, towards the fulfillment of the rights of OFWs. The MRO, in partnership with the Blas Ople Policy Center and Training Institute, has drafted a baseline study on the situation of Filipino migrant workers and on protocols for handling human rights violation-related cases of migrant workers.