National Human Rights Consciousness Week is every December 4 to 10 in the Philippines. This holiday assesses the human rights situation countrywide, from achievements to obstacles that citizens must tackle in the future. During this time, citizens are encouraged to be informed of their rights, do their best to secure them, and fight for the rights of fellow Filipinos. Through simple ceremonies and activities, the people learn their fundamental human rights regarding services and functions offered by private and public institutions.
History of National Human Rights Consciousness Week
National Human Rights Consciousness Week was introduced by the Republic Act No. 9201 on April 1, 2003. The Philippines government declared that public and private institutions would participate in this holiday, propagating a culture of human rights to assist in peace-building and national unity.
The government created a national committee to chair the Commission on Human Rights to achieve these goals. The committee had representatives from several quarters ― the federal police and departments of justice, education, national defense, foreign affairs, and interior and local government. The Departments of Social Welfare and Development and Labor and Employment made up the rest of the committee representatives. A multi-agency approach ensured inclusivity and full cooperation in public-private partnerships between government agencies, individuals, and human rights organizations.
The Commission on Human Rights, formed after the atrocities committed during Martial Law, had a wealth of experience advocating for human rights. The government of the 1987 Philippine Constitution created this independent commission under Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights. Their role was to investigate human rights violations on civil and political levels. The Commission on Human Rights would also promote and protect the rights and dignity of every person in the Philippines. Article III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights, enshrines the rights of Filipinos. The Bill comprises 22 sections declaring a citizen’s rights and privileges protected by the constitution. The Philippines is a signatory of the UN Bill of Rights. This document guides their laws on human rights and obliges the government to recognize and enforce the appropriate rules to support this process.
National Human Rights Consciousness Week timeline
Following the horrors of the Second World War, 51 countries establish the U.N. on October 24 in the U.S.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is proclaimed by the U.N. General Assembly.
The Geneva Convention outlines rules dictating how nations at war conduct themselves regarding enemy civilians and wounded or captured enemy soldiers.
The Human Rights Watch begins as the Helsinki Watch.
National Human Rights Consciousness Week FAQs
How do we promote human rights?
Some examples of how you can promote human rights are researching human rights, protesting against injustice and inequalities, and donating to human rights organizations.
What law created National Human Rights Consciousness Week in the Philippines?
The Philippines Senate and House of Representatives enacted the National Human Rights Consciousness Week Act of 2002.
What’s the most important human right in the Philippines?
The state upholds, guarantees, and protects the natural right to life and liberty.
How to Observe National Human Rights Consciousness Week
Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Know your rights as a human being. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is widely available and translated into hundreds of languages.
Start a social media campaign
Social media is a powerful tool for creating awareness and spreading information in the modern day, where a hashtag could reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions in just a few hours. Help spread the word and show your support for human rights.
Donate to a human rights organization
Today is the day to donate your money to a human rights organization. If you know of one dedicated to this cause, help them continue doing their work by donating some money to their cause.
5 Facts About Human Rights Violations
Violence against women and girls
More than 600 million women live in countries where violence against women and girls is not a crime.
Child labor is widespread
According to the International Labor Organization, over 150 million children are working in labor, with seven out of 10 child laborers working in agriculture.
Modern day slavery
About 27 million people are victims of the ongoing global human trafficking trade.
Use of child soldiers
Over 300,000 children under 18 are exploited as soldiers in combat zones worldwide.
Persecution of the L.G.B.T. community
Same-sex relations are still a crime in 72 countries, and in eight countries, gay relationships are punishable by death.
Why National Human Rights Consciousness Week is Important
Honoring the sacrifices of others
To enjoy the fundamental rights and freedoms we have today, other people had to sacrifice their time, money, comfort, security, and lives. We recognize the efforts of freedom fighters, activists, politicians, and others who are at the forefront of pushing for human rights.
Celebrating progress made
The fight for human rights never truly ends, for violations occur everywhere. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the milestones we’ve passed. It’s always good to take stock of how far you’ve come and commemorate the achievements you’ve made. It keeps people motivated and committed to the cause.
Human rights are essential
Everybody’s basic humanity must be acknowledged, respected, and protected. Human rights make us feel safe and free. We must never stop defending our rights or campaigning for the rights of others. All individuals are born free and equal.
National Human Rights Consciousness Week dates