Tag Archive: Human Dignity


Taking Part of a “Revolution”

By Dr. Renato G. Mabunga

Bloggers’ network and various human rights organizations in the Philippines launch HRonlinePH movement and portal on 1st December 2011 at Crystal Ship Café, Quezon City.  Started as a simple discussion of ideas of promoting human rights online, a group of enthusiastic bloggers and human rights defenders found each other, shared information on human rights and formed HROnlinePH.   Today, it finds its niche as an effective resource on the country’s human rights condition.

Internet and social media play an important role in information-communication today.  There has been an upsurge in the number of sites, and now HRonlinePH joins the larger movement of electronic campaign.  HRonlinePH draws its activities through individual opinions of bloggers, facebook members, and twitters’ network on current Philippine issues.  It is also highlighted by facilitation of various statements, position papers and campaign advocacies of organizations of various political traditions and affiliations to land a spot in both the print media and the digital world.  It interfaces with the other human rights websites and resources online, and organizational identity in an attempt to promote an issue that best captures international human rights principles.

HROnlinePH (or Human Rights Online Philippines) is a movement specialized to promoting and protecting human rights in the Philippines through Information Resources Online.  As a movement, it may fan a successful revolution as exemplified by the Arab Spring.  Yet, it knows so well, that it is not THE revolution where human rights may find its place in the hearts of the States.  It  may be a part; it can be a part; and for HRonlinePH, it must be an essential part of winning a battle for the dignity of persons.

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The Situation:

Human rights discourse is very vibrant worldwide, in Asia, and in the Philippines.  It is the central concern of the disadvantaged peoples together with the human rights workers, practitioners or human rights defenders (HRDs) of the world.  It is constantly challenged by many States and their apparatuses, corporations and groups whose intent veers away from aspirations of people they vow to serve.

Human rights are all about dignity.  They are that which make a person human being.  Rights are basic entitlements a person possesses to become truly human.  They are the minimum expression of human dignity.

Tracing back from the Western scholars, human rights concepts are said to have evolved from the notion of Natural Law.  That, the world is governed by an invisible order which has endowed every person the concept of a perfect justice discernable by human reason; making all human kind equal in rights and dignity.  The doctrine of natural law presupposes the existence of a natural moral code based upon the identification of certain fundamental and objectively verifiable human goods.  The enjoyment of these basic goods is to be secured by our possession of equally fundamental and objectively verifiable natural rights.  Thus, the foundation of human rights, to wit:

The recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world (UDHR, 1948; ICCPR, 1966; ICESCR, 1966).

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood/sisterhood without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.  Furthermore, no distinction shall be made based on the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty (UDHR, 1948).

Today, human rights are continued to be asserted and yet continuously violated.  Even human rights defenders whose noble desire is to facilitate the birthing of a culture of peace and respect are not spared of threats and attacks.

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