Philippines: Drugs

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for human rights of the Philippines Government's policy on illegal drugs; and if he will propose in the United Nations Human Rights Council the deployment of a United Nations Human Rights Council fact-finding mission to investigate the implications for human rights of the Philippines Government's policy on illegal drugs.

Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Philippines Government's policies to tackle the use and trafficking of illegal drugs, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Philippines Government on promoting and protecting human rights.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We remain concerned about the high death toll associated with the "war on drugs" in the Philippines. We have urged the Philippines Government to act to put an end to these killings, to ensure prompt investigations and hold perpetrators to account. We continue to encourage them to find alternative methods for reducing the harm caused by illegal drugs.

We agree that UN human rights mechanisms have a role to play in addressing these concerns, and regularly use our interventions at the UN Human Rights Council to press the Philippines authorities to investigate instances of abuse.

The Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field MP, raised our concerns about human rights and the "war on drugs" with Philippines Ministers, including the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano, during his visit to Manila in August 2018. More recently, the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to the Philippines raised our concerns with Cabinet Secretaries in February. These messages were also passed to Philippines Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Enrique Manalo during the UK-Philippines High Level Talks in Manila in November 2018.

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