Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in May 2016 after repeatedly promising to kill 100,000 drug users and dealers in his first 6 months in office. His election created a climate of impunity and unleashed a wave of extra-judicial killings: more than 5,000 individuals have been killed by the police, though the Philippine Commission on Human Rights puts the total tally at 27,000.
Despite efforts by the government to limit freedom of expression, a number of groups in the Philippines and internationally are working to not only document the killings that are still happening across the county but also to explore legal avenues, including with the International Criminal Court, and to educate Filipino voters about drugs and their effects.
Join us for a panel discussion with Raffy Lerma, a photojournalist who has been documenting the war on drugs, Diane Desierto, Associate Professor of Human Rights Law and Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, and Inez Feria, the founder of NoBox, a civil society organisation providing services to drug users in Manila and advocating for reforms of drug-related policies and laws. The event will be chaired by Julien Labonne, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government.
A drinks reception and an exhibition of Raffy Lerma’s photographs will follow the talk.