De Lima urges senators to pass bill protecting rights defenders
Sen. Leila de Lima on Saturday called on her colleagues to act swiftly and approve her bill that sought to protect human rights defenders against harassment, intimidation and abuses.
In making the plea, De Lima said the prompt approval of the measure would show the country’s solidarity with and commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which would turn 70 years old on Dec. 10 in events to be commemorated worldwide.
She noted that the House of Representatives’ committee on human rights had already approved a measure which sought to define the rights and fundamental freedoms of human rights defenders.
“It is very encouraging to learn that the House leadership is vigorously pushing for the immediate passage of a measure protecting human rights defenders, especially at a time when human rights defenders are now under serious attack,” she said in a statement.
De Lima’s bill defined human rights defenders as any person who acts or seeks to act to promote, protect, or strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms, at the local, regional, national and international levels.
It sought to outlaw the intimidation, harassment, or reprisal against any person for his or her work as a human rights defender.
It also sought to require government authorities to guarantee and ensure the rights of the defenders.
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