Philippines CEDAW Shadow Report

In June 2016, EnGender Rights (EGR) Philippines and OutRight Action International co-authored a shadow report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which was jointly submitted by 34 civil society organizations in the Philippines. This report provides independent information on the discriminatory conditions of lesbians, bisexual women and transgender (LBT) persons in the Philippines. Our written submission is to assist the CEDAW Committee’s review of the Philippines’ compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women during its 64th Session in July 2016. Read the report here »

Clara Rita Padilla, executive director of EnGendeRights, presented an oral statement before the CEDAW Committee on behalf of EGR and OutRight concerning the following LBT related issues in the Philippines:

On the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, the oral intervention raised the following concerns: 1) the absence of a marriage equality law for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people (LBTs); 2) the absence of a comprehensive national LBT anti-discrimination law; 3) the absence of a gender recognition law for transgender people; 4) court decisions that reference LBT rights as wants rather than as human rights, that deny lesbian mothers custody of their children for showing affection to their lesbian partners, that describe lesbian woman as immoral and justify her beating and forced confinement by her mother and that allow low penalties for murder of a transgender; 5) the necessity of trans people to wear stereotyped clothes and hairstyles, which often result in their failure to report to schools and workplaces; 6) the physical and sexual abuse of LBT persons by law enforcement officers and the arrest and filing of trumped-up criminal charges against LBTs to extort money; 7) threats by local government officials to force lesbians to undergo military training.

The CEDAW Committee raised several questions during its constructive dialogue with the Philippines state delegation. The included the following

“Discrimination suffered by LGBT persons, the non-passage of a national LGBT Anti-Discrimination Bill, the absence of a marriage equality law and the transphobia in the court decision imposing low penalty for the murder of transwoman Jennifer Laude. On drop out of students, one Committee member asked for data on the drop of students due to discrimination and bullying based on diverse sexual orientation.”

Watch the Treaty Body Webcast -

Follow the CEDAW-NGO Informal Meeting and CEDAW-Government Review:

  1. OHCHR Official Page for the CEDAW Committee 64th Session -

  2. UN Press -

  3. OHCHR Media Centre -