Human Rights Watch demands the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation into the “war on drugs” in the Philippines. This is so considering that there has been an absence of a proper investigation ever since the war began in 2016.
According to the body’s report on the matter, the war does also substantially affect children, causing psychological and emotional trauma, as well as loss of finance and lives. Among the thousands of deaths, children have also become casualties.
In June 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte, upon becoming the president of the Philippines, had unleashed police and hitmen to combat drugs by hunting down even suspected users. During that time, more than a hundred children had died due to shooting, something called as “collateral damage.”
As a result, surviving children and children whose families suffered from the movement have to live poorly. Some are even living on the streets. Communities such as schools and societies also reject their presence.
Philippines: Duterte and His “War on Drugs”
President Duterte began his war on drugs even before he himself became the president of the Philippines. However, during his presidency, he had aggressively combating narcotics and their users.
In January 2020, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency announced that the number of casualties during the war was 5,601. However, human rights groups and activists believed that there were actually more – it could be more than 27,000.
Regarding the report from Human Rights Watch, President Duterte and his regime have yet to give a comment. However, during the war, he stated that there were killing because the casualties fought back and showed resistance.
Duterte’s aggressive measures are not only notorious in the war on drugs. While fighting against COVID-19, Duterte gave authorities for officials to use any means necessary to do so. Something that, some experts believe, insinuates legal use of violence.