Amnesty International’s early years in the Philippines were made possible by international solidarity, youth involvement and human rights education.

During the tail-end of Martial Law, a group of human rights activists came together to form what would become the Philippine section of Amnesty International (AI). In 1984, Al Senturias, a leading light at AI-Philippines, was invited by AI-London to speak about human rights in the Philippines. His passionate intervention prompted the International Secretariat to conduct research on the country that same year. AI-Philippines was officially registered in 1987, one year after the fall of the Marcos regime.

Of particular importance are AI International’s MIssion Reports during Martial Law in the Philippines:

Survivor testimonies:

On generational trauma:

Additional Successes
AI-Philippines successfully campaigned for the enactment, ratification and adoption of the following:

Local laws
Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act (2004)
Repeal of the Death Penalty Law (2006)
Juvenile Justice Act (2006), Magna Carta on Women (2009)
Anti-Torture Act (2009)
Respect for IHL Act (2010)
Responsible Parenthood Act (Reproductive Health Law, 2012)
Anti-Disappearance Act (2012)
Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act (2013)

International human rights treaties and agreements
UN Convention Against Enforced Disappearances (2010)
UN International Arms Trade Treaty (2013)
UN Moratorium on the Use of Capital Punishment (2007)
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Use of Children as Soldiers (2003)
Second Optional Protocol on the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights Aiming for the Abolition of the Death Penalty (2007)
Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (2011)
Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture (2012)

AI is currently pushing for legislation that seeks to protect human rights defenders, establish a system to prevent torture and ill treatment in all places of detention, strengthen the witness protection program and prevent acts of discrimination against the marginalized and the vulnerable. In 2019, their combined efforts with various individuals, organizations and like-minded states prompted the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution giving it the mandate to examine thousands of alleged extra-judicial executions linked to the Philippine government’s war against drugs.

Butch Olano, Head of Office
Amnesty International Philippines
18-A Marunong, Diliman, Quezon City,
1100 Manila, Philippines