19 April | Day 2: NCIP HEADS THE PHILIPPINE DELEGATION FOR THE CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE WITH UNCERD (1st Day)
Geneva, Switzerland │ The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Chairperson Allen A. Capuyan headed day 1 of 2969th Meeting 109th Session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) Constructive Dialogue on 19 April 2023.
The UNCERD is a body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination different States parties. The Philippines is one of the nations who ratified the Convention to implement measures to end racial discrimination in the country.
NCIP Chairperson Allen A. Capuyan, head of delegation, together with other officials from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) of the Supreme Court, the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat (PHRCS) discoursed with members of the Committee from different countries; Professor Verene Albertha Shepherd, Chair of the UN treaty body facilitated the dialogue.
During the discussions, one of the committee panelists asked on efforts to enact laws on anti-discrimination of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), to answer the inquiry, Chairperson Capuyan explained that bills to such effect are filled under the country’s legislative body; nonetheless, he reiterated that Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Rights Act (IPRA) has been established as a safeguard for Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) creating the NCIP to respect, recognize, protect, and promote the interest and well-being of ICCs/IPs.
Chairperson Capuyan also highlighted accomplishments of the State party thru NCIP’s recognition programs resulting to the awarding of two hundred and eighteen (218) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT); awareness programs via Project Epanaw, documenting the country’s ethnography; and, other endeavors to strengthen institutions in empowering ICCs/IPS.
The Philippines remains committed to end all forms of racial discrimination in the country.