UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Monday unveiled its World Humanitarian Day photo exhibit and upcoming legislative forum at the House of Representatives together with its partner legislators and the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD).
“This partnership is made even more significant by the recent passage of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Bill in the House of Representatives. With global displacement at the end of 2022 at an all-time high and seen to increase further with ongoing and emerging challenges, we cannot overstate the importance of pursuing laws that protect and support the delivery of aid to those who need it the most,” said UNHCR Philippines Head of National Office Maria Ermina Valdeavilla-Gallardo.
Ahead of World Humanitarian Day 2023, UNHCR and our partners in the House of Representatives expressed their solidarity with refugees, asylum seekers, the stateless and those at risk of statelessness, and internally displaced persons. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre shares his insights as main author of House Bill No. 8269 to (L-R) UNHCR Philippines Head of National Office Maria Ermina Valdeavilla-Gallardo, BHW Partylist Rep. Angelica Natasha Co, Department of Justice Chief State Counsel Dennis Arvin L. Chan, and Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
UNHCR, together with partner legislators, DOJ-RSPPU and PLCPD, launched on Monday a week-long photo exhibit commemorating World Humanitarian Day 2023 at the House of Representatives. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
The exhibit pays tribute to the Nine Waves of refugees which shows the strong humanitarian tradition of the Philippines in opening its doors to people forced to flee. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
The photo exhibit also highlights the efforts for and with internally displaced persons, stateless persons, and populations at risk of statelessness, as well as the need for the enactment of a legal framework that will protect, promote, and uphold their rights. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
“These activities at the House of Representatives underline our combined efforts to further strengthen the humanitarian tradition of the Philippines in providing protection and support for the forcibly displaced through our normative framework, which is consistent with what World Humanitarian Day stands for,” she added.
World Humanitarian Day is observed every 19th of August, the anniversary of the attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq 20 years ago. It pays tribute to the unwavering commitment of humanitarians to deliver life-saving protection and aid.
The week-long photo exhibit at the House of Representatives highlights the enduring tradition of the Philippines of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers and the significant milestones in protecting and promoting the rights and welfare of people forced to flee, stateless persons, and populations at risk of statelessness.
UNHCR Philippines Head of National Office Maria Ermina Valdeavilla-Gallardo with BHW Partylist Rep. Angelica Natasha Co. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre and UNHCR Philippines Head of National Office Maria Ermina Valdeavilla-Gallardo at the World Humanitarian Day 2023 pledge wall. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan with UNHCR Philippines Head of National Office Maria Ermina Valdeavilla-Gallardo. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
UNHCR Philippines Head of National Office Maria Ermina Valdeavilla-Gallardo emphasized the need to further amplify the call for a law that safeguards the rights of IDPs with the recent final approval of the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Bill in the House of Representatives. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
In his speech, Department of Justice Chief State Counsel Dennis Arvin L. Chan said that the Philippines can continue its bayanihan spirit and humanitarian tradition through progressive and inclusive laws and policies. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre, one of the main authors of House Bill No. 8269 urged fellow lawmakers and House of Representatives staff to recommit “to the principles that drive us to alleviate suffering, champion justice, and build a future where every individual, regardless of circumstance, can flourish.” © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan reminded her colleagues in the House of Representatives that their mission is “not just legislative in nature. It is inherently humanitarian.” © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
BHW Partylist Rep. Angelica Natasha Co highlighted in her sharing of PLCPD’s message of the Philippines’ strong obligation to international treaties such as the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. © UNHCR/Karen Cepeda
On its last day, 17 August, UNHCR and its partners will conduct a legislative forum, which will bring together experts, legislators, government, and non-government organizations for an in-depth discussion on forced displacement and statelessness in the national context and the work being undertaken for rights-based legislative measures that aim to improve the safeguards for people forced to flee, stateless persons, and populations at risk of statelessness.
“These activities are expected to provide opportunities for us who are involved in protecting, promoting, and upholding the rights of people forced to flee to come together and explore more avenues of collaboration so that we will be more prepared to respond to the needs of the people we serve, #NoMatterWhat,” Valdeavilla-Gallardo added.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We lead international action to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We deliver life-saving assistance, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place called home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. We work in over 130 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.
In the Philippines, UNHCR has maintained a presence for over 40 years, working on three pillars: providing durable solutions to refugees, ending and reducing statelessness, and empowering displaced families.
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