- The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled against China on their claims over the South China Sea
- A group of Zambales fishermen have sent an appeal to the UN to defend their fishing rights in the areas surrounding Scarborough Shoal
- The appeal hopes that the UN would exert their influence to remind China of the fishermen’s rights and for just compensation
After the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled in favor of the Philippines against China’s claim over the South China Sea, a group of fishermen from Zambales have appealed to the United Nations (UN) to exert their influence to prompt China to respect the ruling.
‘Specifically, we request that you exert your moral influence and urgently intervene, remind, and direct China and its state agents to respect the human rights of the Filipino fisherfolk,’ said the appeal.
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These fishermen make their livelihoods by fishing near Scarborough Shoal, which China claims to be part of its territory. However, the PCA ruled that the Scarborough Shoal is considered to be part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Harry Roque, the Kabayan partilist representative who serves as the fishermen’s legal counsel, has gathered more than 60 fishermen to finalize an appeal which will be sent to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
The appeal reminds the UN of a complaint the same fishermen filed the year before, stating that China had been “committing massive and gross” human rights violations against the fishermen.
Speaking to the fishermen at a town hall meeting, Roque said that the appeal hopes to have the UN declare that the fishermen’s right to survive, right to livelihood and right to food have been violated.
‘The UN tribunal ruled that your rights to fish around the shoal were violated by China but we want UN to declare that your right to survive, right to livelihood and right to have food have been violated as well,’ Roque told the fishermen.
The appeal was sent and has been received by the offices of Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Hilal Elver, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; and Idriss Jazairy, UN Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of Human Rights.
Given the ruling of the international court, Roque reminds the UN that China will need to proved compensation to the Filipino fishermen, given that their rights have been violated. - Kami Media