On the 18th of February 2021, the Bill 1699, or the Act to Promote and Protect the Rights of Human Rights Defenders, was proposed to the Philippine Senate. After the adoption of this bill by the Philippine House of Representatives, this is the last step for the bill to become officially enacted. The bill was proposed to the Senate by Senator Leilam De Lima.
“This proposed legislation, which underwent a process of consultation with stakeholders and human rights defenders who are themselves experts on the subject matter, aims to institutionalize and enforce state obligations to provide protection to HRDs, and to establish effective legal remedies for violations of the rights of HRDs.
Guided as well by the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, otherwise known as the “Declaration for Human Rights Defenders,”* and the Model National Law for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders, this version seeks to ascertain that the dynamic community of human rights workers in the Philippines remains free and government policies will both support their work and ensure accountability for violations of their rights and freedoms.”