The formation of Sulong CARHRIHL was initiated by the Citizen’s Peace Council and the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) program on Peace, Democratization, and Human Rights.
The primary goals of the network are education and advocacy on CARHRIHL, the prevention of violations, and the support of observance of human rights and humanitarian law within the framework of the CARHRIHL.
Sulong CARHRIHL hopes to:
address the needs of communities and groups affected by the armed conflict;
support and sustain the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF);
provide additional avenues for constructive dialogue among the main stakeholders of the peace process, namely, the GRP, the NDF, and Philippine civil society.
What is the CARHRIHL?
The Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) is the first substantive agreement produced by the GRP-NDF peace talks.
CARHRIHL was signed by the two parties on 16 March 1998 in The Hague, The Netherlands. The government issued Memorandum Order No. 9 on 7 August 1998 to implement the Agreement. But CARHRIHL was activated with the formation of the GRP-NDF Joint Monitoring-Committee only in 2004.
The Joint Monitoring-Committee (JMC) receives complaints of CARHRIHL violations and monitors the Agreement implementation or the compliance of both parties. It is made up of the GRP and NDF Monitoring Committees, each with a chair, two members and two self-nominated observers from civil society. These MCs conduct separate screenings of complaints and recommend appropriate action. The Joint Secretariat provides staff support.
Why is the CARHRIHL an important instrument?
It provides protection to individuals and communities directly affected by the conflict, and sets concrete measures to promote HR/IHL.
As signatories to the CARHRIHL, it holds both the GRP and the CPP-NPA-NDF accountable for their actions.
It gives human rights victims additional recourse to seek justice for violations committed on and after 7 August 1998.
Through active advocacy and enforcement, it serves as a mechanism for prevention of HR/IHL violations and conflict.
It promotes HR/IHL norms among all actors which is important in building a just and peaceful society.
Through mutual respect of all parties, it enhances the environment for more substantial agreements leading to a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict