The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. (VPHCS) concluded a three-month project on empowering women human rights defenders. Supported by the Urgent Action Fund based in California, United States, the project was implemented on August 1, 2017 to October 31, 2017.
The project aimed to empower women leaders of people’s organizations in selected urban poor communities in Cebu City through trainings and workshops in order for them to continue their struggle for their basic rights to healthcare; and to protect themselves against human rights violations, in the light of President Rodrigo Duterte’s War on Drugs, fascism, and a looming dictatorship.
The trainings imparted pertinent paralegal skills and knowledge to the women leaders and community health workers on (a) Bill of rights in the Philippine Constitution, (b) Arrests, detention and extrajudicial killings, (c) Investigation and documentation of human rights violations, making fact sheets and affidavits, (d) Presentation of the cases of human rights violations to human rights groups in government and non-government sectors for resolution.
The trainings also incapacitated the trained women leaders to respond to actual incidents of human rights violations in their communities through the formation and mobilization of community-based quick reaction based reaction teams.
The project also strengthened the VPHCS physical safety and security situation and trained the VPHCS and leaders of urban poor people’s organizations on digital security and general security, particularly on the significance and use of CCTV, on data encryption and data security, with strategies on how to be safer and smarter when communicating, sharing and storing digital information.