Human Rights in the Philippines: A Continuing Struggle

Panel Discussion: Tuesday, 16 October 2012 from 6 to 8pm (please note that we will start promptly at 6pm)
Location: Room 280N, 2nd Floor, York Lanes, York University (Keele Campus), 4700 Keele Street
Photo Exhibition: Scott Library, York University, Ground Floor Lobby between the circulation desk and the Map Library.  

Refreshments provided, All are welcome.

In September 1972, democratic freedoms were suspended in the Philippines when President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. Tens of thousands of Filipinos were arrested and imprisoned. Although martial law was lifted in 1981, the struggle for human rights, democracy and development continues into the present. Even today, over 300 political detainees remain imprisoned and extra-judicial killings have been widespread.

Marking the 40th anniversary of martial law, a panel of former political prisoners and activists will tell their own stories of detention and describe the ongoing struggles against human rights abuses in the Philippines. The panel is intended to connect youth with the histories of struggle undertaken by their parents’ generation, and to raise their awareness of contemporary human rights issues in the Philippines.


Ricky Esguerra
 – former political prisoner; Philippine Solidarity Network; Vice-Chair for Education, Community Alliance for Social Justice, Toronto.

Hermie Garcia
 – former political prisoner; Editor, The Philippine Reporter; President, Community Alliance for Social Justice.

Bern Jagunos
 – Asia Program Coordinator, United Church of Canada.

Perry Sorio
– former political prisoner; Secretary-General, Migrante Canada.


François Tanguay-Renaud
– Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School; Director, Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, York University.

Alex Felipe
– BAYAN-Canada, Toronto.

Philip Kelly
– Director, York Centre for Asian Research

Sponsored by: 

York Centre for Asian Research, York University
Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security, York University
Community Alliance for Social Justice

For more information, contact


PHOTO EXHIBIT ||| From Martial Law to Today: Human Rights in the Philippines

Martial Law was declared in the Philippines on 21 September 1972. This year marks its 40th anniversary. While it was officially lifted in 1981, its echoes continue to reverberate in the country today. This exhibition features images from the martial law period and modern times, from the point of view of human rights and democracy activists. The goal is to both educate about that period, and to show that government corruption and human rights abuses are still rampant.  The exhibit is curated by, and features the photographs of, Alex Felipe.

***This exhibition can be seen in the Scott Library at York University, Ground Floor Lobby between the circulation desk and the Map Library. The exhibition will run for three weeks beginning 2 October 2012***