FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, 24 June 2016
Philippines: Working Together to Change Police Attitudes and Conduct
Towards the LGBT Community
“I have always believed that everyone is a potential ally…We must engage directly with the police and give them the opportunity to learn and acknowledge the basic human rights of LGBT persons.”
~ Ging Cristobal, Project Coordinator for Asia
(Manila) -- While “To serve and protect” society is the motto of the Philippine National Police, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons are excluded from this commitment, and instead face mistreatment and harassment at the hands of authorities. Police misconduct is enabled by negative social attitudes towards the LGBT community and the lack of adequate training and sensitization of the police force on issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE).
Recognizing the shortcomings of the police force to fulfill its motto “to serve and protect” all citizens, the Philippine National Police Human Rights Office (PNP) partnered with OutRight Action International to conduct a series of trainings. These trainings aimed to educate police officers about SOGIE issues and the concerns of the LGBT community, in order to improve police conduct, services, and protection of LGBT persons.
“I have always believed that everyone is a potential ally. Instead of simply documenting and complaining about the inaction of the government and police impunity, we must engage directly with the police and give them the opportunity to learn and acknowledge the basic human rights of LGBT persons. In this way, we provide them with the skills necessary to truly and fairly protect all citizens.” said Ging Cristobal, OutRight’s Project Coordinator for Asia and the main coordinator of the police engagement project.
Today, OutRight releases “To Serve and Protect without Exceptions,” which gives insight into the experiences of violence and discrimination faced by the LGBT community at the hands of the police, and highlights the steps the PNP Human Rights Office and OutRight have taken to address these violations. The document also outlines the second phase of OutRight’s engagement with the PNP. Phase two will focus on establishing more comprehensive and institutionalized integration of SOGIE issues into all aspects of the police force and police academy, including by working to amend standard operating procedures at prisons to ensure inclusive service and protection.
“There have been small triumphs in terms of improvements in police responses to LGBT persons but we are only scratching the surface,” remarked Cristobal.
Published on June 23, 2016 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization