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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is in Vientiane, Laos, September 6 - 8, for his first ever appearance on the international stage since becoming head of state in June 2016.  He shall be having his debut via the ASEAN Summit, where his main agenda, among others, will be to promote his war on drugs and push for a “drug-free ASEAN.” A statement issued on his behalf during his departure, September 5, from Davao City, southern Philippines, has also underscored “the importance of the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes” as a key talking point during the 2016 Summit.

In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)

In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)[i] strongly condemns the Davao City Night Market bombing which resulted in the deaths of 14 people and injuries to 67 others. This calculated, deliberate, and brutal assault on defenseless civilians is intolerable, and the perpetrators of this most atrocious act should be brought to justice through diligent, affirmative, yet lawful actions by the Duterte administration.

 

Press Conference

Organised by: The Sombath Initiative

11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok

 

At a time when ASEAN is witnessing an alarming increase in human rights abuses, restrictions on civil liberties, and a shrinking of democratic space in a number of its member states, what kind of example does this year’s ASEAN Chair, Laos, set for the regional bloc?

From 9-14 August 2016, Joseph Purugganan, our Philippines Head of Office, and Shalmali Guttal, our Executive Director, represented Focus on the Global South at the World Social Forum in Montreal, Canada. Joseph reports on the discussions that we participated in, the partners we met and solidarity events we joined.  

Photos by Joseph Purugganan unless indicated

Speech delivered at the opening plenary session of the 111th Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Washington State Convention Center, August 19, 2016

By Walden Bello

(New York, August 16, 2016) – Thai authorities should urgently release a student activist detained since August 6, 2016, for peacefully protesting the military junta’s proposed constitution, Human Rights Watch said today. Until his release, the Department of Corrections should transfer Jatupat Boonphatthararaksa, who has been on a hunger strike since August 7 at Phu Khiao prison in Chaiyaphum province, to a hospital where he can be under medical supervision.

Focus on the Global South-Philippines is a member organization of iDefend, a broad coalition of human rights defenders in the Philippines launched last August 12 amidst the increasing number of extrajudicial killings & rampant violation of human rights under President Duterte's war on drugs.The main call of the coalition is human rights for all. On the same day, the group held its first general assembly. Below is iDefend's (In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity) launching statement.

Amnesty International have launched an urgent campaign in relation to three Lao nationals who were arrested in March this year and remain in incommunicado detention. Please read the information below and take action before 14 September 2016. 

 

Press Conference

Organised by: The Sombath Initiative

11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok

 

More than 80 participants representing trade unions, farming communities, indigenous peoples, health networks, women’s organisations, academia and civil society organizations met on 27-28 July in K

Amsterdam/Manila, May 24 2016 – As the first round of negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and the EU commences in Brussels, a new report warns that it endangers eff

The first round of negotiations for an EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement will commence next week (May 23-27) in Brussels, Belgium.

"This is a landmark ruling by the European Ombudsman that would rightfully make human rights  a core issue in any FTA negotiations.

Honorable John Kerry,Secretary of State U.S. State Department 2201 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20520

Gloria Capitan, anti-coal activist from the Philippines; Mr. Kem Ley, social/political analyst from Cambodia; Melon Barcia, peasant leader from the Philippines. All felled by an assassin's gun.

Den Kamlae, land rights activist from Thailand; Sombath Somphone, development worker from Laos; Jonas Burgos, farmer and political activist from the Philippines. All forcibly disappeared.

2015 is a significant year in the history of the International Free trade regime, as its key multilateral instrument, the World Trade Organization (WTO), completes 20 years. Two decades of the WTO have raised many questions, most significantly, is the WTO relevant to small and marginal farmers in the Global South?

Highlights:

  • Marked the 20th anniversary of Focus on the Global South with a two-day International Conference on Peoples’ Struggles and Alternatives - over 120 people attended, representing almost 80 organisations from 20 different countries

Humanity and Nature Cover Image

An economy is often defined as "the wealth and resources of a country or region".

Since the early 1990s, Cambodia has been heavily reliant on foreign aid. The Cambodian Government is seeking to reduce donor-dependence and increase self-reliance, aiming to lift the country to the status of higher middle-income country by 2030.

In the last decade, the resource-rich Philippines has bet heavily on the mining industry as a development strategy, an approach that has come under growing scrutiny.

In February 2015, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Dr. Hilal Elver, visited the Philippines and met with government agencies as well as civil society organizations and social movement groups representing the marginalized sectors of the country.

Here is the latest Focus on the Global South newsletter tackling the most important issues in COP 21, and beyond.

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Secretariat: c/o NFBM #1066-B, Emerald St., Taglesville Subd., Balanga City, Bataan

5th July 2016

Translated from Filipino

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) strongly condemns the treacherous murder of our comrade Gloria Capitan of Mariveles, Bataan!

 

Joint Organizations

July 11, 2016 - We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, are outraged at the brutal murder of independent political analyst and grassroots organiser Kem Ley yesterday morning, and call for a prompt, thorough and independent inquiry into his death.

Kem Ley, 46, was shot twice, in his chest and his head, in a heavily-frequented Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh shortly before 9.00 on Sunday morning.

Secretariat: c/o NFBM #1066-B, Emerald St., Taglesville Subd., Balanga City, Bataan

5th July 2016

Dear Friends,

5th July 2016

Translated from Filipino

Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) strongly condemns the treacherous murder of our comrade Gloria Capitan of Mariveles, Bataan!

Labor Day statement of Independent Senatorial Candidate Walden Bello

 Today, I march side by side with our workers to affirm their struggle for labor rights and continue the fight for dignity for our working class.

Labor day is a celebration of what the labor movement has won over decades of struggle.

Not many people know this but the fact that it is illegal to force workers to work for more than 8 hours and that they have to be paid more if they work beyond that is something that workers—through collective action—achieved.

You may sign this statement by clicking here

Suffering the brunt of the ongoing El Nino, more than 6 thousand farmers converged along a national highway in Kidapawan in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on March 30 to demand 15,000 sacks of rice and financial subsidy promised to them six months earlier by the provincial government. They urgently need this assistance to tide them over until they are able to plant and harvest rice again.