Human rights groups called on the international community to look into “possible crimes committed” by the Philippine government against children.
In a report published on June 29 in Geneva, the groups said at least 122 children have been killed from July 2016 to December 2019 in the Philippines’ “war” on drugs.
The document was released by the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) and the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center.
They urged the International Criminal Court to “expedite its examination and conduct investigations” on the alleged crimes.
The OMCT called on the European Union and other states “to take the situation of children into account when negotiating trade agreements and other conventions with the Philippines.”
Gerald Staberock, secretary general of OMCT, accused the international community of being “largely absent” as the Philippine authorities have “kept trampling human rights.”
“Over the past four years, we have hardly seen any meaningful reaction to the wanton killing of thousands of people under the pretext of the ‘war on drugs,’” he said.
“It is the total lack of accountability that feeds the cycle of violence, including the war on children we are witnessing,” he said.
The Philippine government has repeatedly denied the allegations.
In the report, the groups documented 122 cases that showed “similar narratives.”
It found “planting of evidence,” “uncorroborated allegations by security forces that they acted in self-defense” and “killing operations that were based on false and unverified information.”
The document said no other perpetrator “has been genuinely investigated and prosecuted, and the killings continue.”
The report was released the day before the United Nations Human Rights Council starts its 44th session, which is expected to discuss the human rights situation in the Philippines.
The Philippines is one of the 47 countries sitting on the council.
The groups urged the council to establish an independent Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in the Philippines, with a special focus on children.