Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here: http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/index.asp
Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.
- UN Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee against Torture
- UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Last reported: 15 / 16 October 2012
Concluding Observations issued: 13 November 2012
Early marriage: The Committee is concerned that the Muslim Personal laws codified by Presidential decree No. 1083 discriminate on the basis of religion regarding the minimum age for marriage for girls and also permits polygamy amongst Muslims, which undermine the principle of non-discrimination as provided under the Covenant (arts. 2, 23, 24 and 26). Para 11.
The State party should revise the Code of Muslim Personal laws to prohibit polygamous marriages and repeal the provisions that discriminate on the basis of religion regarding the minimum age for marriage for girls.
Sexual violence:. The Committee is concerned at the lack of legislation providing for the dissolution of marriages, which might have the effect of compelling victims of sexual and gender based violence to remain in violent relationships (arts. 2, 3, 7 and 23). Para 12.
The State party should adopt legislation that governs the dissolution of marriages and ensure that it protects the rights of children, and the rights of spouses to custody of children, and equality in the devolution of matrimonial property.
Abortion: The Committee regrets the absolute ban on abortions, which compels pregnant women to seek clandestine and harmful abortion services, and accounts for a significant number of maternal deaths. The Committee also regrets the issuance of Executive Order 0030 inManilaCitywhich prohibits the disbursement of funds for the purchase of materials and medicines for artificial birth control (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 17). Para 13.
The State party should review its legislation with a view to making provision for exceptions to the prohibition of abortion, such as protection of life or health of the mother, and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, in order to prevent women from having to seek clandestine harmful abortions. The State party should also ensure that reproductive health services are accessible for all women and adolescents. In this regard, the State party should lift Executive Order 0030 for Manila city in so far as it prohibits the disbursement of funds for the purchase of materials and medicines for artificial birth control. Furthermore, the State party should increase education and awareness-raising programmes, both formal (at schools and colleges) and informal (in the mass media), on the significance of using contraceptives and the right to reproductive health.
Trafficking: The Committee is concerned at reports of continued cases of trafficking in persons, which mainly affect women and children (arts. 3, 8 and 24). (Para 18).
The State party should take all necessary measures to ensure that victims of trafficking in persons are provided with medical, psychological, social and legal assistance. Protection should be provided to all witnesses and victims of trafficking so that they may have a place of refuge and an opportunity to give evidence against those held responsible. The State party should also continue to reinforce international cooperation as well as existing measures to combat trafficking in persons and the demand for trafficking. It should also devout sufficient resources to investigations of cases of trafficking in persons by identifying those responsible, prosecuting them and imposing penalties that are commensurate with the seriousness of the acts committed.
Child Labour: The Committee is concerned about the high incidence of child labour which continues to increase, and about the fact that children continue to be employed in hazardous conditions including involvement in the worst forms of child labour such as the sex trade, drug trafficking, pornography, the performance of auxiliary tasks for combatants and other illicit activities (art. 24). Para 23.
The State party should intensify its efforts to implement existing policies and laws that are designed to eradicate child labour, including through public information and education campaigns on the protection of children’s rights, and strengthening the capacity and reach of labour inspectors. It should also ensure that exploitative acts of child labour are prosecuted and punished, and should keep reliable statistics in order to combat it effectively.
Last reported: 20 / 21 October 2003
Concluding Observations issued: 30 October 2003
Death penalty: [….....] The Committee notes that the death penalty is prohibited for persons under 18 years of age, but is concerned that minors have been sentenced to death, seven of whom are currently detained on death row. (Paragraph 10).
The Committee urges the State party to take measures to repeal all laws which have made it possible to impose the death penalty and to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant. It should also ensure compliance with article 6, paragraph 5, of the Covenant prohibiting the imposition of the death sentence for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age.
Children in detention: The Committee expresses concern regarding reported cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, harassment, intimidation and abuse, including of detainees, many of whom are women and children, that have neither been investigated nor prosecuted. Such a situation is conducive to perpetration of further violations of human rights and to a culture of impunity. (Paragraph 11).
The State party should adopt and enforce legislative and other measures to prevent such violations, in keeping with articles 6 and 9 of the Covenant and to improve the implementation of relevant laws. The State party should conduct prompt and impartial investigations, and prosecute and punish the perpetrators.
Trafficking: The Committee notes with concern numerous instances of trafficking (art. 8) of women and children in the Philippines, both within the country and across its borders. While noting the importance of existing legislation (R.A. 9208) in this domain, it is concerned that insufficient measures have been taken actively to prevent trafficking and to provide assistance and support to the victims. (Paragraph 13).
The State party should take appropriate measures to combat trafficking in all its forms, by ensuring effective enforcement of the relevant legislation and imposing sanctions on those found responsible. The Committee encourages the State party to ensure gender-specific training to sensitize the officials involved with problems faced by victims of trafficking, in accordance with articles 3, 8 and 26 of the Covenant.
Street children: The Committee is concerned that the law allowing for warrant-less arrest is open to abuse, in that arrests in practice do not always respect the statutory conditions that the person arrested is actually committing a crime or that the arresting officer has “personal” knowledge of facts indicating that the person arrested committed the crime. The Committee is also concerned that a vaguely worded anti-vagrancy law is used to arrest persons without warrant, especially female prostitutes and street children. (Paragraph 14).
The State party should ensure that its laws and practices with regard to arrest are brought into full conformity with article 9 of the Covenant.
Juvenile justice: The Committee is concerned that the measures of protection of children are inadequate and the situation of large numbers of children, particularly the most vulnerable, is deplorable. While recognizing that certain legislation has been adopted in this respect, many problems remain in practice, such as: (Paragraph 17).
a) The absence of adequate legislation governing juvenile justice and the deplorable situation of children in detention, including those held without evidence for prolonged periods of time;
b) Persistent reports of ill-treatment and abuse, including sexual abuse, in situations of detention and children being detained together with adults where conditions of detention may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (art. 7);
c) Street children vulnerable to extrajudicial executions and various forms of abuse and exploitation;
d) Children as young as 13 allegedly being used by armed groups without adequate measures of protection by the State (art. 24);
e) Economic exploitation of children, in particular in the informal sector.
The State party should:
a) Expedite the adoption of legislation governing juvenile justice which complies with international standards of juvenile justice in accordance with article 10, paragraph 3, of the Covenant. The Committee recommends that training for professionals in the area of administration of juvenile justice be enhanced and that human and financial resources for effective implementation of the new legislation be secured;
b) Devise programmes for street children which offer support and assistance. Support to relevant non-governmental organizations is encouraged in this respect;
c) Take all appropriate measures to ensure protection of children who have been involved in armed conflict and provide them with adequate assistance and counseling for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society (art. 24); and
d) In relation to child labour, the State party should pay particular attention to the situation concerning the monitoring and effective implementation of labour standards for street children and children working in the informal sector, as well as those working in the Free Trade Zone.
Observations published: 7 October 2016
Equality between men and women: The Committee is concerned that in spite of the adoption of the Magna Carta of Women and educational achievements by girls and women, there continues to be a large gender disparity in labour market participation mainly due to persisting gender role stereotypes and the unequal sharing of family responsibilities between women and men. The Committee is also concerned at the large gender pay gap owing to the predominance of women in low-level and low-paid jobs. The Committee recommends that the State party promote the wide dissemination and implementation of the Magna Carta of Women so that women, including indigenous and Muslim women, can take full advantage of the opportunities it provides, including maternity leave. It also recommends that the State party take all measures necessary to increase the level of participation of women in the labour market, including through the promotion of awareness-raising campaigns and good practices to change gender role stereotypes as well as through an extension of the public network of childcare services and other services for dependent children/dependents. It further recommends that the State party combat professional segregation by enhancing vocational training programmes for women and take effective measures to close the pay gap between men and women (paras 23, 24).
Protection of family, mothers and children: The Committee reiterates its concern that certain provisions of the Revised Penal Code and the Code of Muslim Personal Laws are in violation of the Covenant and that they are in conflict with the Magna Carta of Women, particularly concerning early marriage, polygamy and divorce. It is also concerned at the absence of legislation providing for divorce and the delay in adopting legislation to amend the Family Code. The Committee recommends that the State party review the Revised Penal Code and the Code of Muslim Personal Laws with a view to prohibiting early marriage and polygamy and bringing them in line with the Magna Carta of Women and international human rights standards. It also recommends that the State party expedite the adoption of legislation that provides for divorce (paras 33, 34).
Birth registration: While welcoming Proclamation No. 1106 of 2015, the Committee remains concerned at the low level of birth registration among indigenous children, Muslim children and children of overseas Filipino workers, which has a direct impact on their enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights (art. 10).The Committee recommends that the State party take all steps necessary to ensure that all children, including indigenous children, Muslim children and children of overseas Filipino workers, are registered, including through the implementation of the Proclamation and via diplomatic relations with countries of destination of overseas Filipino workers (para 35, 36).
Economic exploitation of children: The Committee reiterates its concerns that an estimated 1.5 million children between age of five and 14 are engaged in child labour and that half of them are working in hazardous or dangerous conditions and are exposed to various forms of sexual and economic exploitation. It is also concerned that most of these children are out of school and are engaged in the mining and agricultural sectors, putting their lives and health at great risk. The Committee recommends that the State party: Strengthen its national legislation prohibiting child labour and its enforcement including though enhancing labour inspections on child labour; Ensure that those persons who make use of child labour are prosecuted and punished; Adopt all appropriate measures to facilitate recovery of the children and access to educational opportunities for the children concerned; and undertake a national survey on the nature and extent of child labour (paras 37, 38).
Violence against women and girls: The Committee remains concerned that domestic violence against women is prevalent in the State party and remains underreported owing to stigmatization and discrimination against victims, despite progress in recent years. It is also concerned at the gaps in the legislation: the Anti-Violence against Women Act of 2004 (RA No. 9262) has a limited scope and the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 (RA No. 8353) limits statutory rape to cases where the victim is under the age of 12. Women and girls with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to such violence and are not provided with the necessary support. The Committee recommends that the State party expedite the amendment of the Anti-Violence against Women Act and of the Anti-Rape Law. It also recommends that the State party take effective measures to encourage the reporting of domestic violence, to ensure that all reported cases are promptly and thoroughly investigated, that the perpetrators are punished with penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offences and that victims receive adequate support, including temporary shelters, legal assistance and psychological treatment. It further recommends that the State party pay particular attention to women and girls with disabilities experiencing such violence and take into account their specific needs as regards their access to justice throughout the judicial process as well as their use of shelters (paras 39, 40).
Trafficking in human beings: The Committee is concerned at The persistently high incidence of trafficking in women and children, exacerbated by natural disasters and armed conflicts; The Committee recommends that the State party:Ensure that all acts of trafficking are effectively investigated and sanctioned; Provide shelters to victims of trafficking and ensure victims’ access to assistance, recovery and reintegration programmes; Enhance the understanding of law enforcement officials about the issues relating to trafficking and the anti-trafficking legal framework; and Take all measures necessary to eradicate the complicity of law enforcement officials in human trafficking and the impunity given to those involved (paras 41, 42).
Right to adequate food and nutrition: While welcoming the Supplemental Feeding Program and other measures aimed at reducing malnutrition in the State party, the Committee is concerned that between 13.7 and 15.6 million persons are still undernourished in the Philippines, mostly living in rural, conflict-affected and disaster-affected areas. Moreover, almost one fifth of children under five years of age are underweight and more than 30% are stunting. Almost one quarter of pregnant women, lactating mothers and infants suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. The number of persons who are overweight and obese is increasing. The Committee recommends that the State party take steps necessary to address persisting hunger and malnutrition and, in particular, the critical nutritional needs of children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. Referring to its general comment n°12 on the right to food (1999), it also recommends that the State party adopt the legislative framework protecting the right to adequate food and nutrition and to enact the Zero Hunger (Right to Adequate Food Framework) Bill. It further recommends that the State party fully implement the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition for 2011-2016 and develop a national food and nutrition security strategy taking into account the 2004 Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security, agreed on by the Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (paras 47, 48).
Last reported: 11 / 12 November 2008
Concluding Observations issued: 21 November 2008
Education: The Committee notes with concern that, in spite of a high GDP growth rate, the national spending on social services such as housing, health and education remains low, and has in fact decreased over the years. (article 2, paragraph 1)
The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its statement on “An evaluation of the obligation to take steps to the ‘maximum of its available resources’ under an Optional Protocol to the Covenant” (E/C.12/2007/1), and recommends that the State party increase its national spending on social services such as housing, health and education so as to achieve, in accordance with article 2, paragraph 1, the progressive realisation of the economic, social and cultural rights provided for in the Covenant. (Paragraph 17).
Early marriage: […...] The Committee also regrets that the interpretation of the provisions of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (Presidential Decree No. 1083) permits polygamy and the marriage of girls under the age of 18, and that forced marriages are still tolerated in certain parts of the State party. (articles 2, paragraph 2, 3 and 10, paragraph 1) . (Paragraph 18).
The Committee urges the State party to undertake, as a matter of priority, a comprehensive review of its legislation with a view to ensuring de jure and de facto equality between men and women in all fields of life, as provided for in article 2, paragraph 2, and article 3 of the Covenant. In particular, it urges the State party to adopt the Marital Infidelity Bill, and to review the interpretation of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 16 (2005) on the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights, and requests the State party to provide, in its next periodic report, detailed information on the progress made in the field of gender equality.
Trafficking: The Committee notes with concern that, notwithstanding the various legislative, administrative and policy measures adopted by the State party to combat trafficking, a high number of women and children continue to be trafficked from, through and within the country for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. The Committee is particularly concerned about the low number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers. (article 10) . (Paragraph 26).
The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to combat trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour, inter alia by supporting programmes and information campaigns to prevent trafficking, providing mandatory training for law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges on the anti-trafficking legislation and increasing the provision of medical, psychological and legal support to victims.
Child labour: The Committee remains concerned that despite the State party’s efforts to combat child labour, a large number of children between the age of 5 and 14 work in the informal economy. The Committee is particularly concerned that many of these children work in hazardous or dangerous conditions and are exposed to various forms of sexual and economic exploitation, including the worst forms of child labour. (article 10) . (Paragraph 27).
The Committee urges the State party to intensify its efforts to combat child labour and protect children from all forms of sexual and economic exploitation, including the worst forms of child labour, inter alia through:
(a) strengthening its national legislation prohibiting child labour in accordance with international standards;
(b) increasing the number of labour inspections in order to ensure the respect of its national legislation prohibiting child labour;
(c) ensuring the imposition of fines and criminal sanctions to persons making use of illegal child labour;
(d) organising mandatory training for law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges; and
(e) adopting all appropriate measures to facilitate recovery and access to educational opportunities for former child workers.
The Committee recommends that the State party undertake a national survey on the nature and extent of child labour, and include information on progress made in combating child labour in its next periodic report.
Abortion: The Committee notes with concern that, under the State party’s legal system, abortion is illegal in all circumstances, even when the woman’s life or health is in danger or pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and that complications from unsafe, clandestine abortions are among the principal causes of maternal deaths. The Committee is also concerned about the inadequate reproductive health services and information, the low rates of contraceptive use and the difficulties in obtaining access to artificial methods of contraception, which contribute to the high rates of teenage pregnancies and maternal deaths existing in the State party. (article 12) . (Paragraph 31).
The Committee draws the attention of the State party to its General Comment No. 14 (2000) on the right to the highest attainable standard of health, and urges the State party to adopt all appropriate measures to protect the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, inter alia through measures to reduce maternal and infant mortality and to facilitate access to sexual and reproductive health services, including access to family planning, and information. In particular, the Committee encourages the State party to address, as a matter of priority, the problem of maternal deaths as a result of clandestine abortions, and consider reviewing its legislation criminalising abortion in all circumstances.
Last reported: 13 August 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 27 August 2009
Children in armed conflict: The Committee appreciates the information provided by the State party that peace- processes in the different regions of armed conflict are resuming and takes note of the many initiatives taken to protect indigenous peoples including children in conflict zones. It welcomes the intention to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the situation of children and the establishment of other committees monitoring different peace processes. The Committee is, however, concerned over reports of persisting human rights violations against indigenous peoples, who continue to be disproportionately affected by armed conflict. The Committee is concerned that leaders of these communities continue to be victims of extrajudicial executions as well as of disappearances and detention and over reports indicating occupation of indigenous territories by the armed forces and armed groups. (Paragraph 18).
The Committee urges the State party to continue efforts to restore peace in the regions affected by armed conflict, to protect vulnerable groups from human rights violations, notably indigenous peoples and children of ethnic groups, and to ensure that independent and impartial investigations are conducted into all allegations of human rights violations. The Committee, recalling a recommendation from July 2008 by the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, recommends the enforcement of the 1997 Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) to ensure that indigenous children and children from other ethnic groups are not recruited by armed forces or armed groups (CRC/C/OPAC/PHL/CO/1, para. 19). The Committee seeks further information on the follow-up to the reports of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions (A/HRC/8/3/Add.2) and of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people (E/CN.4/2003/90/Add.3).
Internally displaced persons and education: The Committee is concerned about the effects of internal displacement as a consequence of armed conflict especially on indigenous peoples in relation to their livelihoods, health and education.
In the light of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2), the Committee recommends that the State party adopt adequate measures in order to ensure the enjoyment by internally displaced persons of their rights under article 5 of the Convention, especially their right to security and their economic, social and cultural rights. (Paragraph 19).
Adopted by Commmittee: 5 July 2016
Published: 22 July 2016
The high prevalence of gender-based violence against women and girls and the low reporting of incidences of violence, in particular domestic violence and sexual violence, due to stigmatization and discrimination against victims; The fact that statutory rape under the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8353) is limited to cases where the victim is under the age of 12; The increasing incidence of online sexual exploitation and abuse of children. (para. 25)
The Committee recommends that the State party:
Expedite the amendment of the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 putting lack of consent as primary element of the definition of rape and raising the minimum age of sexual consent which is presently set too low at 12 years to at least 16 years; Strengthen its response to online sexual exploitation and abuse of children, including through the implementation of the Statement of Action by Governments to Tackle Online Child Sexual Exploitation, issued at the Abu Dhabi We Protect Summit in 2015 and adopt pending bills expanding the definition of sexual harassment to include peer sexual harassment and cyber harassment; Prevent, investigate and punish all forms of gender-based violence, in particular sexual violence perpetrated by State and non-State actors, apply a zero tolerance policy to fight impunity, and provide necessary support to women and girls who are at risk of or victims of such violence as well as in times of armed conflict in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 30 (2013) on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations; Address the root causes of women’s and girls’ vulnerability to violence, including poverty, inequality in family relations, insecurity, and discriminatory stereotypes; Systematically collect comprehensive and disaggregated data on gender-based violence against women in displacement, armed conflict, disaster, migration and trafficking situations, as well as on gender-based violence against women with disabilities. (para. 26)
The lower number of girls enrolled in pre-primary and primary education compared to boys and the lack of information on girls out of school; Gender segregation in higher education, with low enrolment of women and girls in non-traditional fields of study such as science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics; The high incidence of sexual violence and sexual harassment against girls in schools; The lack of operational guidelines and training for teachers for delivering age appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights. (para. 33)
The Committee recommends that the State party:
Promote the enrolment of girls in pre-primary and primary education; Analyse and address obstacles faced by girls who are not enrolled or have dropped out of school as a part of efforts to ensure all girls and boys complete primary and secondary education including through use of temporary special measures for those belonging to minority communities; Enhance its efforts to overcome gender segregation in higher education, with a view to increasing women’s enrolment in non-traditional fields of study such as science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics; Effectively investigate and prosecute cases of sexual violence and harassment against girls in schools and adequately punish perpetrators and ensure that the Committees on Decorum and Investigation established at schools which are mandated to accept complaints do not in effect hinder investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of sexual violence and harassment at schools by formal criminal justice; Develop operational guidelines for schools and provide training for teachers in order to deliver quality, age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights for all girls and boys, including those with disabilities. (para. 34)
Last reported: 15 August 2006
Concluding Observations: 26 August 2006
Early marriage: […...] The Committee is particularly concerned about existing discriminatory provisions of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, which permit marriage of girls under the age of 18, polygamy and arranged marriages. (Paragraph 11).
The Committee urges the State party to give high priority to strengthening the legal framework for the promotion of gender equality and women’s enjoyment of their human rights and, to that end, to expedite the adoption of pending bills in order to promptly bring the relevant national laws into line with the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State party undertake a systematic review of all legislation and initiate all necessary revisions so as to achieve full compliance with the provisions of the Convention. It also encourages the State party to intensify dialogue with the Muslim community in order to remove discriminatory provisions from the Code of Muslim Personal Laws. The Committee also calls upon the State party to increase its efforts to sensitize parliamentarians and public opinion regarding the importance of these reforms.
Violence: While welcoming the establishment of family courts in major cities all over the country to foster an active approach to protecting the rights of women and children against domestic violence and incest, the Committee remains concerned about the prevalence of violence against women. The Committee notes with appreciation the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, which redefines and expands rape from a crime against chastity to a crime against the person and implicitly recognizes marital rape. However, the Committee is concerned that the subsequent possibility for the wife, as the offended party, to forgive the crime extinguishes the criminal dimension of the action and the consequent severity of the penalty. (Paragraph 15).
The Committee recommends that the State party undertake measures to increase awareness of all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, marital rape and incest, and the unacceptability of all such violence. It recommends that the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 be reviewed with a view to repealing the provision pertaining to the extinguishing of the criminal action. It calls on the State party to enhance data collection on various forms of violence against women, especially domestic violence. It urges the State party to conduct research on the prevalence, causes and consequences of domestic violence to serve as the basis for comprehensive and targeted intervention and to include the results of such research in its next periodic report.
Trafficking: While welcoming the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, the Committee notes with concern that trafficking in women and girls and the exploitation of prostitution continue to thrive in the Philippines, owing to the poverty of women and girls. The Committee is also concerned about the low rates of prosecution and conviction of traffickers and those who exploit the prostitution of women. (Paragraph 19).
The Committee recommends that the State party further strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation with countries of origin, transit and destination so as to address trafficking in women more effectively. It urges the State party to pursue a holistic approach aimed at addressing the root causes of trafficking and improving prevention. Such efforts should include measures to improve the economic situation of women and girls and to provide them with educational and economic opportunities, thereby reducing and eliminating their vulnerability to exploitation and traffickers. The Committee further calls on the State party to take appropriate measures to suppress the exploitation of prostitution of women, including through the discouragement of the demand for prostitution. It should also facilitate the reintegration of prostitutes into society and provide rehabilitation, social integration and economic empowerment programmes to women and girls who are victims of exploitation and trafficking. The Committee recommends that the State party provide financial support to non-governmental organizations, including religious non-governmental organizations, which run shelters and drop-in centres for the rehabilitation of women and girls in prostitution. The Committee urges the State party to prosecute and punish traffickers and those who exploit the prostitution of women, and provide protection to victims of trafficking. The Committee requests the State party to provide, in its next report, comprehensive information and data on trafficking in women and girls and the exploitation of prostitution and on the impact of the various measures undertaken in that regard.
Health: The Committee expresses its concern about the inadequate recognition and protection of the reproductive health and rights of women in the Philippines. The Committee is concerned at the high maternal mortality rates, particularly the number of deaths resulting from induced abortions, high fertility rates, inadequate family planning services, the low rates of contraceptive use and the difficulties of obtaining contraceptives. It is also concerned about the lack of sex education, especially in rural areas. It is concerned at the high rate of teenage pregnancies, which present a significant obstacle to girls’ educational opportunities and economic empowerment. (Paragraph 27).
The Committee urges the State party to take concrete measures to enhance women’s access to health care, in particular to sexual and reproductive health services, in accordance with article 12 of the Convention and the Committee’s general recommendation 24 on women and health. It requests the State party to strengthen measures aimed at the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, including by making a comprehensive range of contraceptives more widely available and without any restriction and by increasing knowledge and awareness about family planning. The Committee recommends that the State party give priority attention to the situation of adolescents and that it provide sex education, targeted at girls and boys, with special attention to the prevention of early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The Committee recommends that the State party consider reviewing the laws relating to abortion with a view to removing punitive provisions imposed on women who have abortions and provide them with access to quality services for the management of complications arising from unsafe abortions and to reduce women’s maternal mortality rates in accordance with the Committee’s general recommendation 24 on women and health and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Early marriage and muslim women: […....] The Committee is furthermore concerned that the practice of early marriage is persistent among Muslim women. (Paragraph 29).
[…...] It also encourages the State party to provide increased educational opportunities to Muslim girls to discourage early marriages. The Committee requests the State party to include in its next report sex-disaggregated data and information on the de facto position of rural, indigenous and Muslim women, and on the impact of measures taken and results achieved with policies and programmes implemented for these groups of women.
Last reported: 28 / 29 April 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 29 May 2009
Torture and ill-treatment and insufficient safeguards during police detention : Notwithstanding the assurances provided by the State party to the Committee that “torture or ill-treatment on suspects or detainees is not tolerated or condoned by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and that erring PNP personnel are dealt with accordingly”, the Committee is deeply concerned about the numerous, ongoing, credible and consistent allegations, corroborated by a number of Filipino and international sources, of routine and widespread use of torture and ill-treatment of suspects in police custody, especially to extract confessions or information to be used in criminal proceedings. Furthermore, despite the enactment of the Law on the Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation (RA 7438), there are insufficient legal safeguards for detainees in practice, including: (Paragraph 7).
(a) Failure to bring detainees promptly before a judge, thus keeping them in prolonged police custody;
(b) Absence of systematic registration of all detainees, including minors, and failure to keep records of all periods of pre-trial detention; and
(c) Restricted access to lawyers and independent doctors and failure to notify detainees of their rights at the time of detention, including their rights to contact family members (arts. 2, 10 and 11).
As a matter of urgency, the State party should take immediate steps to prevent acts of torture and ill-treatment throughout the country and to announce a policy of total elimination in respect of any ill-treatment or torture by State officials. As part of this, the State party should implement effective measures promptly to ensure that all detainees are afforded, in practice, all fundamental legal safeguards from the very outset of their detention. These include, in particular, the right to have access to a lawyer and an independent medical examination, to notify a relative, and to be informed of their rights at the time of detention, including about the charges laid against them, as well as to appear before a judge within a time limit in accordance with international standards. The State party should also ensure that all suspects under criminal investigation, including minors, are included in a central register which functions effectively. The State party should also reinforce its training programmes for all law enforcement personnel, including all members of the judiciary and prosecutors, on the absolute prohibition of torture, as the State party is obliged to carry out such training under the Convention. Moreover, it should keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices with a view to preventing cases of torture.
Sexual violence in detention : While noting the enactment of a number of relevant laws and that the State party has established a total of 31 female dormitories, the Committee expresses serious concern at numerous allegations of cases of rape, sexual abuse and torture committed against women detainees by the police, military and prison officials/personnel. In this respect, the Committee is concerned about reports that in many provincial jails, officials continue to place women together with male inmates, and that male corrections officers continue to guard female inmates in violation of agency regulations. (arts. 11 and 16) . (Paragraph 18).
The State party should take effective measures to prevent sexual violence in detention, including by reviewing current policies and procedures for the custody and treatment of detainees, ensuring separation of juvenile detainees from adults, and of female detainees from males, enforcing regulations calling for female inmates to be guarded by officers of the same gender, and monitoring and documenting incidents of sexual violence in detention, and provide the Committee with data thereon, disaggregated by relevant indicators. The State party should also take effective measures to ensure that detainees who allegedly are sexually victimized are able to report the abuse without being subjected to punitive measures by staff, protect detainees who report sexual abuse from retaliation by the perpetrator(s), promptly, effectively and impartially investigate and prosecute all instances of sexual abuse in custody and provide access to confidential medical and mental health care for victims of sexual abuse in detention, as well as access to redress, including compensation and rehabilitation, as appropriate. Furthermore, the Committee calls upon the State party to consider enacting the draft Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2008.
Children in detention : While appreciating the State party’s clarification of measures undertaken to reduce the number of children in detention, including the enactment of the 2006 Juvenile Justice Welfare Act (RA 9344), a variety of social welfare services provided for children in conflict with the law and the release of 565 minors in 2008, the Committee is concerned that a significant number of children remain in detention and at reports of a de facto practice of not separating children from adults in detention facilities throughout the country, despite the requirement included in the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act demanding such separation. (arts. 11 and 16) . (Paragraph 19).
The State party should further reduce the number of children in detention and ensure that persons below 18 years of age are not detained with adults; that alternative measures to deprivation of liberty, such as probation, community service or suspended sentences are available; that professionals in the area of recovery and social reintegration of children are properly trained; and that deprivation of liberty is used only as a measure of last resort, for the shortest possible time and in appropriate conditions.
Children involved in armed conflict : The Committee appreciates the various legislative and other measures adopted by the State party, including the 2001 Comprehensive Program on Children Involved in Armed Conflict, the creation, in 2004, of an Inter-Agency Committee on Children Involved in Armed Conflict, the activities of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in this respect as well as the visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict in December 2008. Nonetheless, the Committee expresses serious concern about allegations of continued abduction and military recruitment of child soldiers by the non-State armed groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the New People’s Army and the Abu Sayyaf. (art. 16) . (Paragraph 24).
The State party should take the necessary steps, in a comprehensive manner and to the extent possible, to prevent the abduction and military recruitment of children by armed groups that are distinct from the armed forces of the State. The State party should also take the necessary measures to facilitate the reintegration of former child soldiers into society.
Domestic violence : The Committee takes note of various measures taken by the State party, including the enactment, in 2004, of the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act (RA 9262) and the establishment of a significant number of Women and Children Desks in police stations all over the country and the Women and Children Protection Centre of the PNP. However, the Committee expresses its concern about the prevalence of violence against women and children, including domestic violence. It is further concerned about the lack of State-wide statistics on domestic violence and that sufficient statistical data on complaints, prosecutions and sentences in matters of domestic violence were not provided. (arts. 1, 2, 12 and 16) . (Paragraph 25).
The State party should increase its efforts to prevent, combat and punish violence against women and children, including domestic violence. The Committee calls upon the State party to allocate sufficient financial resources to ensure the effective implementation of the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act. The State party is encouraged to participate directly in rehabilitation and legal assistance programmes and to conduct broader awareness campaigns for officials (judges, law officers, law enforcement agents and welfare workers) who are in direct contact with the victims. In addition, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts in respect of research and data collection on the extent of domestic violence. Furthermore, the State party is encouraged to promptly enact the Magna Carta of Women (House Bill 4273) which is the national translation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Trafficking : While noting the significant efforts of the State party, including the recent convictions of traffickers, the adoption, in 2003, of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (RA 9208) with the creation of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to coordinate and monitor its implementation as well as the “We are not for sale: Victims of Human Trafficking Speak Up Project”, the Committee is concerned that the Philippines continues to be a source, transit and destination country for cross-border trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation and forced labour. The Committee regrets the very limited number of cases of filing, prosecution, and conviction of perpetrators of trafficking with many of those cases being dismissed at preliminary stages. (arts. 2, 12 and 16) . (Paragraph 26).
The State party should take all necessary measures to implement the current laws combating trafficking and provide protection for victims and their access to medical, social rehabilitative and legal services, including counselling services, as appropriate. The State party should also create adequate conditions for victims to exercise their right to make complaints, conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigation into all allegations of trafficking and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice and punished with penalties appropriate to the nature of their crimes.
No visits undertaken.
Last reported: 3-4 April 2014
Concluding Observations adopted: 11 April 2014
Issues raised and recommendations made:
Health: The Committee is concerned that section 29(a)(2) of the Immigration Act, which allows for the prohibition of entry or expulsion from the country on the grounds that the immigrant worker is suffering from an infection or illness or is pregnant, unrelated to the performance of the tasks for which the worker has been recruited, may result in discrimination of migrant workers.(paragraph 10)
The Committee recommends that the State party amend the Immigration Act in order to avoid discrimination of migrant workers on the basis of one’s health situation, including real or perceived HIV status or pregnancy, and ensure that any health testing be voluntary and free from coercion. (paragraph 11)
Birth registration: The Committee is concerned at the reported difficulties in access to birth registration of Filipino migrant children abroad in some instances, including those in an irregular situation, such as due to distance to the foreign service posts and incurred costs. (paragraph 34)
The Committee encourages the State party to take further steps for reaching out to the destination countries for the registration of children of migrant workers, both in regular and irregular situations, and for updating relevant databases. (paragraph 35)
Migrants: The Committee notes the State party’s efforts to secure welfare of the children of migrants on site and those left behind in the country including through the pilot education, entrepreneurial and training programs. However, the Committee is concerned at the limited number of such measures, and their reliance primarily on civil society contribution, and the vulnerability of children left behind in the country to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. The Committee also regrets the lack of clarity about the measures taken to facilitate resettlement and reintegration of Filipino migrant workers upon their return, including their reunification with children left behind in the country. (paragraph 44)
The Committee recalls its previous recommendation and recommends that the State party:
(a) Conduct a nationwide research on children of migrant workers on site and those left behind in the country to establish demographic profile of such population in order to guide its policies and programs; and
(b) Adopt a comprehensive strategy to promote and protect the rights of children and families of Filipino workers, in particular through education, entrepreneurial, training and community welfare programs, and further its cooperation to that effect with civil society actors in the country.
(c) Provide information in its next periodic report on the measures taken to facilitate resettlement and reintegration of Filipino migrant workers upon their return, including their reunification with children left behind in the country. (paragraph 45)
Trafficking: The Committee expresses concern that the prosecution rate for trafficking, especially women and children, remains very low due to difficulties in law enforcement as illegal recruiters are often relatives or foreign recruitment agencies according to information received by the Committee. The Committee also notes with concern that many judges, prosecutors, social service workers and law enforcement officials seem to have insufficient knowledge of legislation against trafficking in persons, which may hinder successful investigation, prosecution and punishment of such acts and assistance to the victims. (paragraph 46)
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to combat trafficking in particular women and children, through vigorous implementation of the national strategic plan to that effect, which should include the following measures:
(a) Enhance proper identification and referral mechanisms to improve assistance to victims of trafficking;
(b) Promptly, effectively and impartially investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of trafficking and other related offences, and deal expeditiously with the cases filed against illegal recruiters;
(c) Reinforce the mechanisms of support, rehabilitation, protection and redress, including the State-funded social rehabilitation services and assistance in reporting incidents of trafficking to the police, and ensure their availability to all victims of trafficking, including at provincial and local levels;
(d) Enhance training for police officers, law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors, labour inspectors, teachers, health workers and the staff of the State party’s embassies and consulates, and distribute the Manual of Procedures in Handling Complaints of Trafficking in Persons, Illegal Recruitment and Child Labour and the Manual on Labour Dimensions of Trafficking in Persons for Investigators, Prosecutors, Labour Inspectors and Service Providers;
(e) Place public information materials in all transport terminals to educate public about trafficking and protection of migrants. (paragraph 47)
Last reported: 23 / 24 April 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 30 April 2009
Impact of migration: The Committee expresses concern over the situation of children and the negative impact on children who separentshavemigratedabroad.InformationpresentedbeforetheCommitteepointstochildren with at least one parent working overseas living with loose family ties and performing worse in school, notably in the case of an absent mother. This is of concern to the Committee given that 50 per cent of all Filipino migrant workers are women. (Paragraph 1).
The Committee encourages the State party to support a comprehensive study on the situation of children of migrant families, with the aim of developing adequate strategies to ensure their protection and the full enjoyment of their rights through, inter alia, community support programmes, education and information campaigns and school programmes. The Committee encourages the State party to continue its collaboration with NGOs in favour of these children and their mothers.
Trafficking: While noting the significant efforts of the State party such as the recent convictions of traffickers and the “We are not for sale” campaign, the Committee is concerned about the significant number of Filipino workers abroad who are victims of trafficking. The Committee further regrets the very limited number of cases of filing, prosecution, and conviction of perpetrators of trafficking with many of those cases being dismissed at preliminary stages.
The Committee endorses the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in this regard and recommends that the State party:
(a) Evaluate the phenomenon of trafficking in persons and compile systematic disaggregated data with a view to better combating trafficking, especially of women and children;
(b) Vigorously ensure effective enforcement of anti-trafficking legislation and increase efforts to improve the record of prosecutions, convictions, and punishment for traffickers and public officials who profit from or are involved in trafficking and bring perpetrators to justice;
(c) Strengthen the Anti-Illegal recruitment campaign and provide adequate funding for the implementation of the National Strategic Plan of Action against Trafficking;
(d) Continue collaboration with all relevant partners to increase advocacy, information, education and overall public awareness activities. Likewise, continue its ongoing early detection and prevention activities.
(e) Coordinate and monitor the implementation of laws regarding forced labour and slavery, and continue training programmes in identifying and providing the necessary intervention and assistance to trafficked persons. Continue training of prosecutors to make them fully aware of the nuances of anti-trafficking law. Similarly, continue partnerships to increase technical capacity building and training of law enforcers, prosecutors and service providers.
Ratified in 2008, but not yet reported.
Not yet signed or ratified.