Sunday, January 27, 2008

Solon wants mandatory human rights training in gov’t agencies

A Mindanao lawmaker has filed a bill mandating all government agencies conducting training and seminars to include a regular course on human rights in their curricula.

In filing House Bill 2974, Rep. Datu Pax Mangudadatu (1st District, Sultan Kudarat), said it is necessary to strengthen the institutionalization of human rights not just in the context of law enforcement, but as a fundamental reason for serving the country, most especially for those working in all branches of government, from the rank and file up to the officials.

Mangudadatu sought the immediate approval of the bill as he noted reports tagging law enforcers as top violators of human rights.

Same reports placed government officials and employees as fifth in the list of perpetrators of human rights abuses, which include harassment, torture, forced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention and other gross disrespect for human rights and non observance of due process.

Mangudadatu said the bill will provide government officials and workers in the executive, legislative and the judicial branches a working knowledge of due process of law and human rights to significantly contribute to the efficient delivery of services.

HB 2974 mandates all branches of government including government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units to include mandatory study of human rights as an integral part of the education and training of all their officers and employees, giving priority to those units involved in the administration of justice, intelligence work and maintenance of peace and order.

To implement this act, the Civil Service Commission shall coordinate with the Human Rights Commission, advocacy groups, non-government organization and people's organization to formulate and design the course on human rights and provide resource persons and materials. (House of Representative press release written by Salvacion Beleo of Public Relations and Information Department)

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