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The National Action Plan 2007

This is the National Action Plan for the OPCAT Campaign in the Philippines for 2007 which will be symbiotically implemented with other akin projects as part of Balay’s comprehensive and holistic implementation of torture prevention advocacy and psychosocial development response among torture survivors and their families.


The OPCAT campaign plan for 2007 is symbiotically implemented with other akin projects as part of Balay’s comprehensive and holistic implementation of torture prevention advocacy and psychosocial development response among torture survivors and their families.

A team (OHRVV) is assigned to implement these line-up of components that respond to human rights violations caused by the state. A person is assigned to specifically focus on the OPCAT campaign, the OPCAT campaign coordinator who also works with other alliances, coalitions and advocacy platforms in integrating the OPCAT in broader collaborative efforts for anti-torture and human rights concerns. The OPCAT is thus not only part and parcel of the OHRVV team’s activities that promote the prevention of human rights violations and respond to their ill effects but is also part of the trajectory of mass campaign actions that utilize the machineries of organizations, coalitions and alliances that Balay is a member of or works in partnership with.

The collection of the psychosocial development response work components are as follows inclusive of the OPCAT Campaign Plan:

I. Service:

  1. Organizing and training a pool of lawyers on human rights and the right to be free from torture; actions that will equip them to help in caseloads

  • Human rights response to state sponsored abuses – To be able to work in tandem with Quick Response Paralegal Teams

  • Human Rights Instruments Briefing

  • Promoting OPCAT and Anti-torture Law Advocacy

  • Istanbul Protocol promotion

  1. Case Conferences with lawyers and relatives

  1. Psychosocial processing/intervention

  1. Relief and welfare provision

  1. Medical missions and consultations

  1. Regular jail and home visits

  1. Regular consultations with relatives

  1. Educational assistance to children of prisoners

  1. Capability building activities for empowerment and development

  1. Training of correctional personnel on the humane treatment of individuals deprived of their liberty, human rights and the right to be free from torture.

II. Advocacy:

  1. Intensified OPCAT campaign for prompt ratification and effective implementation of the instrument

a. Preparatory tasks:

  • Production of additional Campaign Materials

  • Visits to places where individuals are deprived of their liberty to aid in research for appropriate NPM(s)

  • Production of modules on basic human rights principles, mechanisms, the UN treaty system, and right to be free from torture for aid in OPCAT educational activities

  • Finalizing and uploading the Philippine OPCAT campaign

  • Desk Study on the appropriate form of National Preventive Mechanism(s) for the Philippines

b. Standard Campaign:


The standard campaign for the OPCAT simply put is continuing where we left off last year following our arrived upon strategy. Should obstacles prove to be difficult to overcome through this mode, then stepped up efforts can be employed.

  • OPCAT Caucus for the EU member embassies

  • Continued dialogues with executive departments and their line bureaus to promote the OPCAT and push for them to sign their certificates of concurrence.

  • Engaging the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) requesting them to support the OPCAT by asking them to release an executive order requiring the implementing departments to comply to the OPCAT and recommend the president to sign the treaty.

  • Setting up the 2nd dialogue with the DND en banc

  • Presenting the OPCAT to the newly created Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office (AFP-HRO)

  • Continue gathering signatures appealing to the president to sign the OPCAT

  • Lobbying for prominent institutions local and international to appeal to the president and senate to sign and ratify the OPCAT (e.g. EU embassies in the Philippines)

  • Continued efforts to set appointments with senators at the coming 14th congress.

  • Calendaring high profile and broad activities on the right to be free from torture on red letter days (e.g. 26 June) to highlight (Tri-media) the OPCAT and the prevalence of torture in the Philippines

  • Continuation of gathering multi-stakeholder support nationwide through local caucuses with provincial and BJMP correctional officers and the regional commission on human rights

  • Seizing opportunities to promote and present the OPCAT at regular conferences of correctional officers from various reform institutions (e.g. the BJMP quarterly command conference)

  • Presenting the OPCAT to the league of provinces

  • United Against Torture Coalition (UATC) activities to push for the enactment of an Anti-Torture Law (Re-filing of anti-torture bill at the House of Representatives and Senate), Ratification of the OPCAT, Construction and Submission of the UNCAT Shadow Report, Public Awareness Building on the right to be free from torture.

  • Participation in Technical Working Group / Public Hearings on the Anti-Torture Bill at the House of Representatives and at the Senate as a resource institution addressing torture

c. Stepped up campaign activities:

  • Walk-ins at executive departments, Senate and office of the Executive Secretary with partner civil society organizations’ members to show visible interest in the OPCAT’s installment

  • Peaceful diplomatic demonstrations/manifestations in front of departments, Senate, Presidential palace, and the office of the Executive Secretary

  • Requesting the International Community to appeal to the government entities causing obstacles in the OPCAT ratification

  • Ambush dialogues with Senators at the session hall

d. Routinaries:

  • Scheduling, overseeing and presiding over the Monthly OPCAT Working Group meetings

  • Updating and communications with international partners

RCT, APT, AHRC and other members of the regional working group

  • Collaborative efforts with regional partners through constant exchanges and regular meetings (regional working group) to strategize the promotion and installation of the OPCAT

  • Updating and management of the Philippine OPCAT Campaign Website

  • Tracking developments in the international OPCAT campaign

  • Regular team assessment of the OPCAT campaign

  • UATC monthly meetings

  • Tracking torture, ill-treatment and prison issues and opportunities to highlight the right to be free from torture and the OPCAT by releasing press statements, letters to the editor and rejoinders.

  • Working with ad-hoc visiting groups, groups who conduct inter-agency dialogues for prison reforms and assisting state constitutionally mandated government institutions to oversee conditions and practices in places of detention.

  • Collaborative efforts to abate human rights violations caused by state policies and repression:

  • Balay is an active member of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), a major human rights formation and one of people’s vehicles for voicing out human rights advocacy. In the light of the passage and soon to be implemented “Human Security Act of 2007”, Balay is also involved in the following efforts:

  1. Trainings on the dangers posed by the anti-terrorism law

-Community leaders and organizers

-grassroots and peoples organizations

-Members of the human rights community

-Development workers

-Political organizations

  1. Setting up human rights formations at the grassroots/community level

  2. Providing human rights trainings and awareness building on HR issues inclusing the right to be free from torture

  3. Organizing high profile media activities to expose the governemnt’s stepped up efforts to fortify its machinery to quell legitimate people’s dissent and disapproval by legitimizing policies that curtail civil and political liberties and boost the culture of impunity.

  4. The OHRVV team is also equip with paralegal response skills and are on-call members of the PAHRA Paralegal Quick Response Team responding to human rights abuses caused by the state machines’ belligerence in mass mobilizations, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearance, development aggression and state sponsored killings.

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