Conference "Democracy - No Guarantee for Human Rights: Repression against Civil Society in the Philippines"


The Philippines is often described as a trailblazer for democracy and human rights in Southeast Asia. Competitive elections, albeit often marred by irregularities, regularly lead to a peaceful transfer of power. The constitution which was adopted after the end of the Marcos regime in 1987 not only guarantees human rights but also obliges the state to commit to the promotion of social, political, and economic justice. But at a second glance, it becomes obvious how much these aspirations differ from the reality in the Philippines. There is indeed a vibrant civil society with thousands of NGOs and People’s Organizations as well as an independent media landscape, both of which openly challenge instances of injustice and abuse of power. But those who speak out against the deeply entrenched clientelism, against ecological devastation as a result of mining operations, against exploitation by big landowners, and against the multitude of other injustices are threatened. These include progressive local politicians, environmental activists, farmers of the land reform movement, indigenous peoples from the anti-mining movement, and committed members of the churches who become victims of criminalization and political murders.

The conference will address the contexts of human rights violations against human rights defenders in the Philippines, trace developments, and assess opportunities for intervention. During the discussions, the question as to whether the repression against civil society in the Philippines follows a worldwide trend will be addressed.

The conference is directed towards representatives of NGOs and civil society organizations, the German and European Parliament and their staff, the German government and the EU institutions, and members of the public interested in the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Conference language is English.


September 21-22, 2015


Brot für die Welt, Caroline-Michaelis-Straße 1, 10115 Berlin


For the full program please click here.


Please register by September 7, 2015.

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