In BARMM, it is a reality that information about basic human rights is underprovided. During the series of focus group discussion conducted by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.), people in BARMM shared stories and concerns related to human rights.
In Brgy. Nabalawag, Barira, Maguindanao, one participant reported that many of the people in their village do not know their human rights. They hope to be educated about their rights and that there will be awareness activity related to human rights per sector in the community.
In Jolo, Sulu, a representative from partner civil society organization (CSO) shared that human rights education is very important for them, because there is less information dissemination in their locality about HR.
With the current implementation of the project SUBATRA-ECSO (Enhancing CSOs Capacities for Inclusive Development Intervention in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition), BDA is working for the advancement of human rights promotion and protection in Bangsamoro in partnership with the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC).
A writeshop for the development of module on human rights in Bangsamoro was conducted on May 25-27, 2022 in Cotabato City.
During the activity, participants shared their basic understanding and experiences on human rights. They worked together in writing the module guided by the inputs from Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC) and Bangsamoro Darul Ifta.
A resource person was contracted by the project to work for this writeshop and consolidate the inputs from the activity to be able to develop the module on human rights.
BDA organized the activity with support from BHRC, Bangsamoro Youth Commission, Bangsamoro Women Commission, Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MIPA), and the Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS).
Participation of various CSOs were also vital during the activity. They were Raja Mamalo Descendants for Southern Philippines, Inc., Ittihadun Nisa Foundation, Inc., Kapagawida Development Services Association, Inc., League of Bangsamoro Organizations (LBO- Tawi- Tawi and Lanao office), Kabalikat CIVICOM from Sulu, and Taga Youth from Basilan.
After the activity, it is expected that the module will be finalized, approved and adopted by BARMM in advancing the promotion and protection of human rights towards a just governance for all in the region that shall contribute to peaceful and cohesive transition in Bangsamoro.
BDA as implementing agency of the project will be using this module to train the community human rights defenders who will be organized following the writeshop.
It was January 2022, when BDA and BHRC signed a memorandum of understanding for the common goal to advance the promotion and protection of human rights in Bangsamoro communities.
BHRC is optimistic that this particular intervention of the project on human rights will be significant in improving the mechanisms and services related to HR in Bangsamoro.
“For instance, through the organizing of community human rights defenders, there will be community active participation on the prevention, promotion and protection of human rights. The government will have counterpart from the grassroots to watch and report for human rights situation at the community level”, BHRC told.
Advancing human rights promotion and protection in Bangsamoro is part of the SUBATRA-ECSO project’s target that is to improve the access to basic social services and social protection projects of vulnerable/marginalized groups in Bangasamoro.
SUBATRA-ECSO works for the Component 4 of the SUBATRA Programme that helps BARMM lay the foundation for lasting peace and development in the region by strengthening the capacities of its institutions to establish an enabling democratic governance environment during the transition period.
The Project generally aims to contribute to a peaceful, cohesive, secure and inclusively developed Bangsamoro. It specifically intends to enhance the capacity of the civil society to contribute to a peaceful transition to BARMM.