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ARMM human rights body to look into displacement issue

Following the recent staffing of the 37 plantilla positions in the newly established agency, the Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) has intensified efforts to address human rights issues especially for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.

“Our regional office is not focused only on monitoring cases but is also collaborating with other agencies for potential solutions as well,” said lawyer Laisa M. Alamia, the agency’s chairperson said in a press briefing over the weekend.

The RHRC was established last year following the enactment of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act 288 otherwise known as the “ARMM Human Rights Commission Charter of 2012.”

Alamia said that theior agency has been receiving support from various sectors in Mindanao including a new vehicle recently donated by the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Alamia said that the vehicle will be used in its monitoring activities while noting that the autonomous region houses a number of displaced individuals.

“Forced displacement gave birth to human rights concern and we are banking on establishing human rights profile mechanism in the 110 municipalities across the region,” she said.

“Despite shortage in personnel and technical resources, we are ready to strategize provincial human rights action centers throughout the region,” she added.

In the 2012 forced displacement report released by UNHCR, 278,472 people were forcibly displaced in an accounted 35 incidents. Apart from natural disaster, the data cites that rido or clan feud were among the top three causes.

“We are happy that UNHCR has been one of the active partners of the current regional administration in curbing the problem of human rights abuses in ARMM,” said Atty. Anwar Malang, regional government’s executive secretary.

For his part, Arjun Jain, UNHCR Mindanao chief, has vowed to continue his agency’s support.

“Rest assured that UNHCR and many other United Nation agencies and the international community will be behind you, and will continue supporting your work,” said Jain.(ARMM CommGroup)

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