On November 27, the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) is holding an Orientation Seminar on Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL) and Human Rights as part of an initiative to support the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC) and its partners in protecting human rights alongside the enforcement of the ATL. Participants include BHRC staff and personnel, and representatives of the commission’s CSO partners from across the region.

Following the recent establishment of the BHRC, its needs for institutional and personnel capacity must be addressed for the office to fulfill its mandate. The BHRC takes after the ARMM Human Rights Commission (RHRC) which, together with partner CSOs, strongly lobbied for the regional government to establish a new human rights agency upon the start of the Bangsamoro political transition. 

Leading the discussion is Minority Floor Leader Laisa Alamia who first helmed the RHRC upon its inception back in 2012. Drawing from her experience as a human rights lawyer and an official in the regional government, she will discuss the ATL’s salient points and how these can impact human rights in the region, placed within the context of peacebuilding and normalization initiatives that accompany the region’s political transition. 

With the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL), key personnel of the BHRC and its civil society partners must now develop a thorough understanding of the new law and its intricacies, given the Bangsamoro’s history in relation to law enforcement, counter-terrorism efforts, and human rights violations.