A delegation of Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), led by Deputy Chief Commissioner Rakeb Messele, visited the Commission on Human Rights of the Republic of the Philippines (CHRP) from January 15–19, 2024. The visit focused on harnessing shared experiences and charting potential areas of future partnerships, particularly safeguarding the rights of migrant workers and internally displaced persons (IDPs), while also delving into effective reparation programs for victims of human rights violations.
The EHRC delegation was warmly received by the CHRP Commission En Banc, led by Chairperson Hon. Richard P. Palpal-Latoc, alongside Commissioners Hon. Beda A. Epres, Hon. Faydah Maniri Dumarpa and Hon. Monina Arevalo Zenarosa. The EHRC delegation held a series of meetings with CHRP commissioners, experts, high-ranking officials and experts from other government agencies, including the Department of Justice’s Board of Claims and the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as a local CSO Center for Migrant Advocacy.
The discussions centered around the respective powers, mandates and organizational structures of both institutions, exploring their roles in the promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers and IDPs. Representatives shared best practices and explored common challenges and potential avenues for collaboration. Notably, they emphasized the need for joint platforms that unite National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in advocating for a binding international treaty for the promotion and protection of the rights of IDPs. Additionally, enhancing collaboration between NHRIs of migrant workers sending and receiving countries emerged as a key priority.
EHRC delegation also met the former Head of Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), established in 2014 for the reparation and recognition of victims of human rights violations under Marshall Law (September 21, 1972–February 25, 1986) and the Department of Justice’s Board of Claims, established by law to compensate victims of unjust imprisonment or detention and victims of violent crimes. The experts from the two agencies provided insights into their mandates and working procedures and shared their practical experiences in setting up and administering national victims’ reparation programs, offering valuable insights for establishing similar programs in other contexts. The delegation further visited the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission, responsible for the establishment, restoration, preservation and conservation of the memorial/museum/library/compendium in honor of the victims of human rights violations during the Marshall Law.
EHRC’s Deputy Chief Commissioner, Rakeb Messele, highlighted the significance of collaborative efforts between both institutions, exchanging best practices and rallying NHRIs in their regions around shared concerns. The Deputy Chief Commissioner also expressed her gratitude to the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) for their technical support and thanked the Commission on Human Rights of the Republic of Philippines (CHRP) for hosting the delegation and their hospitality.