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HRC44: Nordic countries address the human rights situation in the Philippines

Item 2 – Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the
human rights situation in the Philippines
30 June 2020
Statement by Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland

Thank you Madam President,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Iceland Norway, Sweden and my own country Finland.
We share the High Commissioner´s concern outlined in the report over killings committed in the context of the so-called “war on drugs” as well as that of human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and trade unionists. Indications that these violations are widespread, of a systematic character and on a large scale are of a particular concern. Urgent steps must be taken to ensure full accountability.

Madam President, 
We reiterate our concerns regarding reports of ongoing threats to freedom of expression and media freedom, with legal charges and prosecutions being brought against journalists and senior politicians critical of the Government, as well as actions to shut down media outlets. The recent convictions of journalists Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos are particularly worrying.

Madam President,
As outlined in the report, the Philippines have taken important steps on universal access to tertiary education, access to health and protection of children in situations of armed conflict. We appreciate that they have presented further information on their approach and their efforts to address concerns outlined in the report. We encourage the Government to deepen its cooperation with OHCHR to implement the recommendations outlined in the report and look forward to continuing our dialogue.
I thank you.