The ICRC in the Philippines
In the Philippines, where the ICRC has worked since 1982, the delegation assists and protects civilians adversely affected by armed clashes between the government and insurgent groups. It acts as a neutral intermediary between opposing forces in humanitarian matters. It also visits security detainees, helps improve conditions in prisons and promotes IHL.
Throughout the decades of internal armed conflicts in the country, the ICRC has been visiting detainees and assisting people in need, many of them displaced because of the conflict. In cooperation with the national authorities, the ICRC has launched the "Call for Action" programme to address: legal and procedural problems leading to overcrowding in prisons; concerns regarding the health of detainees, in particular the spread of tuberculosis; and poor living conditions.
The ICRC regularly reminds all parties to armed conflicts of their obligations under humanitarian law, in particular of the need to protect civilians. It also acts as a neutral and impartial intermediary to facilitate the handover of people captured and detained in relation with the conflicts to their families.
The organization has been working to integrate IHL into national legislation, and promote knowledge of and respect for this body of law among local and national authorities, armed and security forces, university students, and civil society. In this regard, the ICRC's efforts brought about a tangible result in December 2009 with the Philippine government’s signing of a law punishing serious violations of IHL, genocide and other crimes against humanity.
The ICRC runs its assistance and IHL programmes in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross Society. The organization also helps the National Society boost its capacity in the areas of disaster preparedness and restoring family links.
The ICRC has a delegation in Manila, a sub-delegation in Davao and offices in the cities of Cotabato, Zamboanga and Tacloban.