Friday, August 1, 2008

MEDIA ADVISORY: Human Rights and Access to Justice for the Poor

Attention: News Editor, News Desk, Reporters and Photojournalists


Human Rights and Access to Justice for the Poor

It is our distinct honor to invite you to attend a special seminar entitled, “Amending UDHA: Human Rights and Access to Justice for the Poor.” Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, Supreme Court Spokesman Jose Midas Marquez and Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo will be the main speakers.

The seminar will be held August 4, 2008 (Monday) at the Audio Visual Room, Social Development Complex of the Ateneo de Manila University. It will begin at 9:00AM and end at 1:00PM. A modest lunch will follow.

The seminar brings together initiatives that promise improvement in the manner in which urban poor people are treated, especially in matters of evictions and relocation. Senator Aquino as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Local Government has already begun hearings on amending UDHA.

Chairperson de Lima took up the issues of evictions and relocation with a special emphasis on the human rights of the people involved in such activities contained in the country’s Constitution and laws and the International Covenants the country has signed.

The seminar is also our effort to follow through the highly successful "Forum on Increasing Access to Justice: Bridging Gaps and Removing Roadblocks" which the Supreme Court Chief Justice has initiated.

Naga City has been awarded the 2007 Housing Rights Protector Award for its Kaantabay sa Kauswagan Programme, an initiative providing security of tenure and improved living conditions for thousands of its residents.

After the speakers make their opening statements, urban poor people will have a chance to tell stories of how they have suffered in recent evictions, for example, the absence of consultation, legal notice and relocation. Government agencies will have time to make their comments on what has been said by the speakers and the poor. Then there will be an open forum.

At the end, the speakers will share their final thoughts on the subjects discussed. There will be a large poster-size statement of purpose that the participants will be asked to sign.

Date: August 4, 2008 (Monday) / 9:00AM - 1:00PM

Venue: Audio Visual Room, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

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