“Today, the IRCT joins hands with Balay and the United Against Torture Coalition in commemorating the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims. We honour the memory of all those who are no longer with us, and continue to support those who still are. We pay tribute to the commitment, tireless effort and excellent work done by NGOs and civil society organisations in the Philippines in fighting torture and impunity.
The Young People’s Summit was a 3-day undertaking of the youth and was participated by more than 50 organizations representing Lumad, Moro and the settlers in Mindanao. Balay had conceived of the idea to facilitate the organizing of the event due to the enthusiastic response of young participants who joined the series of peace camp and dialogues that initiated in Cotabato. They have been in midst of all activities from the finalization of the concept, the designing of the activities and the actual conduct of the event itself. Since the activity is shaped by the youth, they have taken it upon themselves to bear responsibility in sustaining the consensus that they arrive at. The gathering held October 26-28 at Eden Nature Park and Resort was capped by the drafting of the Young People Summit Declaration. In particular, the youth bind themselves to work for the following agenda:
Realizing the importance of peace in the lives of the community people of Pikit especially among the children, seeing the possibility of connecting the capacities of the people, BALAY thought of developing a project that will enable the all concerned sectors – community, school, government, military, armed group and the youth and children to promote children as zones of peace.
Internal displacement in the Philippines is most pervasive in areas where militarization and clashes between government forces and rebel fighters take place. In urban centers, the informal settlers, who are branded as squatters, are the most common victims of demolitions to give way to commercial and infrastructure projects. The following are documented displacement data from June-December 2005 and January - May 2006.