Bill calls for human rights courses in schools (Philippines)

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Bill calls for human rights courses in schools (Philippines)

By Maila Ager

(Original article:  Inquirer.net.  September 23, 2016)

Recognizing that human rights abuses have remained rampant in the country, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito wants the mandatory teaching of human rights in all public and private schools.

In Senate Bill 1080, Ejercito proposed that all public and private schools should be required to include human rights courses in their curricula.

“No school shall be established or allowed to operate unless this requirement is completed with,” the resolution said.

The resolution provides that the Department of Education, in consultation with the Commission on Human Rights, should formulate courses on human rights to be taught as separate courses or incorporated in existing subjects now being taught in all levels of education throughout the country.

Ejercito, in his explanatory note in the bill, noted that, “Global trend suggests that the people, regardless of nationality or ethnic origin, should be aware of the basic human rights of each individual ranging from the right to life, liberty, food, shelter, education, and among others.”

In fact, he said, international treatises, covenants, agreements, laws were crafted, passed and signed by different states just to make sure that the basic precepts of these international laws and agreement will be observed and enforced by the concurring states.

“In the Philippines, albeit the fact that our government has been a signatory to a number of these covenants and treatises, we still have problems in terms of observance and enforcement as human rights abuses [are] still rampant throughout the country,” the senator said.

“Many of our countrymen are passive to report human rights abuses because of fear, ignorance and lack of support from the government,” he added.

Ejercito is part of the so-called “supermajority” bloc in the Senate.

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