Congratulations Tinay Palabay! Congratulations KARAPATAN Philippines!

“They speak out against injustice, work to help those who are persecuted, refuse to be silenced, and often jeopardize their own safety: Human rights need people to fight for them. From now on, Germany and France will annually award a new medal to women and men from all over the world who have shown courage in their engagement for the protection of human rights.” From the article dated 10.12.2021 of the German Federal Foreign Office.

The award recognizes the tireless efforts of human rights defenders around the world to promote human rights.

It is with so much pride to announce and congratulate Christina ‘TINAY’ Palabay the Secretary-General of our organization KARAPATAN Philippines for having been awarded the 2021 Franco-German Human Rights Prize.

KARAPATAN was introduced to me, when I was still in the theological seminary, as the alliance for the advancement of peoples’ rights.

KARAPATAN is an alliance of individuals, groups, and organizations working for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines. Its founders and members have been at the forefront of the human rights struggle in the Philippines since the time of Marcos’ martial law regime.

KARAPATAN was founded by its member organizations in 1995 (when the former umbrella organization no longer satisfied the needs of its member organizations and of the people’s organizations it was supposed to serve). Set up to respond to the needs of its member organizations, KARAPATAN has very close linkages with them.

KARAPATAN firmly believes that…

  • Human rights should be respected in all ts dimensions – civil and political, economic, social and cultural.
  • Basic rights to life, humane treatment, and due process should be preserved at all times.
  • The people has the right to be free from all forms of oppression and exploitation.
  • A repressive state which serves the interests of a few oppressors and exploiters are the worse violator of human rights.
  • The struggle of the Filipino people for national liberation and social emancipation provides the framework for human rights advocacy.
  • Human rights advocacy must be biased for the interest of the oppressed classes, sectors, and groups.
  • Human rights advocacy is integral to the struggle of the peasants for land, the workers for national industrialization and decent living and working conditions, the women against exploitation and discrimination, the indigenous peoples for self-determination, the poor for basic social services, and the youth for access to education and other venues for growth and development.

This well-deserved award to Tinay Palabay is also a great tribute to all of us in Karapatan and the marginalized and the victims of human rights violations we are serving. It simply says that all along and despite the attacks of the government through various agencies including the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the other critics, we are doing right for the cause of human rights.

Here is the link to the message of Tinay during the awarding ceremony:

Message to the awarding ceremony of the 2021 Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and Rule of Law | Karapatan

The full list of this year’s laureates can be viewed here:

Germany and France: Working together for human rights – Federal Foreign Office (auswaertiges-amt.de)

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