How the Philippines voted in the 42nd session of UN rights body
The United Nations Human Rights Council concluded its 42nd session with 38 adopted resolutions, 12 of which were adopted by a recorded vote.
UN/Elma Okic
How the Philippines voted in the 42nd session of UN rights body
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - October 1, 2019 - 4:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — As a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Philippines cast its votes on the body's resolutions on several human rights situations around the world.

The UNHRC concluded its 42nd session in Geneva, Switzerland with 38 adopted resolutions.

Out of the 38 adopted resolutions, 12 were approved by recorded vote while the remaining 26 were without the vote.

Here's how the Philippines voted on the resolutions adopted through voting:

Composition of staff of the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights

Yes. This resolution emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the achievement of gender balance in the office. 

Human rights situation in Yemen

No. The council condemned the ongoing violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law in war-torn Yemen. This included those involved in widespread recruitment and use of children by parties to the armed conflict, sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary arrests and detention, denial of humanitarian access and attacks on civilians, including medical facilities and missions, as well as schools.

Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar

No. The Philippines and China are the only countries that voted against this resolution that called on the Myanmar government to take necessary measures to promote the inclusion of human rights and dignity of all people living in the country. The council also called on the Southeast Asian country to address the spread of discrimination and prejudice against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities.

READ: Only Philippines, China vote against UN rights resolution on Rohingya Muslims

Strengthening cooperation and technical assistance in Venezuela

Yes. The council urged Venezuelan authorities to take measures that would guarantee full enjoyment of the right to food, water, as well as the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order

Yes. This resolution urged states, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to renew efforts on the promotion of a democratic and international order and reinforcing the multilateral system.

Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination

Yes. The council called on countries to investigate the possibility of mercenary and mercenary-related involvement whenever acts of a terrorist nature occur and bring to trial those responsible or consider their extradition.

Right to development

Yes. The council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the right to development for three years.

Question of the death penalty

Abstain. The council stressed that the death penalty can never be applied as a sanction against specific forms of conduct such as adultery, blasphemy, homosexuality, apostasy, establishing political opposition groups or offending a head of state. The UNHRC also pointed out that countries that retain the death penalty violate their international obligations.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself has been advocating for the reimposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes in the country. Several Philippine lawmakers have also been advocating for the reinstatement of the death penalty.

Situation of human rights in Venezuela

No. The UNHRC condemned all violations and abuses of international human rights law in Venezuela and urged its authorities to immediately release all political prisoners and others arbitrarily deprived of their liberty.

Situation of human rights in Burundi

No. The council extended the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi to deepen its investigations. It also expressed deep concern on the continuing acts of intimidation and harassment against the arbitrary arrest, detention and criminalization of human rights defenders.

Human rights situation in Syria

No. Noting that the conflict in Syria continues in its ninth year, the UNHRC urged all parties involved to abstain immediately from any actions that may further contribute to the deterioration of human rights, security and humanitarian situations.

Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights

Abstain. The council condemned all acts of intimidation or reprisal by state and non-state actors against individuals who seek to cooperate with the UN in the field of human rights.

The UNHRC recently listed the Philippines among 48 countries with growing reprisals against victims, members of civil society and activists in the human rights field.

READ: Philippines among countries with rising reprisals against rights activists

In summary, the Philippines voted yes on five resolutions — composition of the staff of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, technical assistance to Venezuela, promotion of democratic and international order, the use of mercenaries as means of violating human rights and the right to development.

The Philippines notably voted no on all resolutions covering human rights situations in specific countries, such as Yemen, Myanmar, Venezuela, Burundi and Syria.

The country abstained on two resolutions — the question of the death penalty and cooperation with the UN in human rights.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with