Baguio Vendors Fight for Right to Livelihood

Human rights violations?

Human rights advocates in this city asserted that the ordinance contradicts the constitution and other international instruments, which aim to address poverty and respects the people’s right to livelihood and employment.

“The failure of the government to provide adequate means of livelihood or opportunities for these sidewalk vendors is considered a human rights violation,” said lawyer Manja Bayang, of the Dinteg Inc. or the Cordillera Indigenous People’s Law Center.

Urban poor leader Ignacio Pangket said that it is frustrating that this age-old problem of sidewalk vending is not adequately addressed by the local authorities.

“Our right to livelihood is recognized not only by the Constitution. Even international laws like the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) where the Philippine state is a signatory recognized this right (to livelihood),” reiterated Pangket, chairman of the Organisasyon Dagiti Nakurapay nga Umili it Siyudad (ORNUS or Alliance of Urban Poor Groups in the City).

“How can we realize and protect the fundamental right to life if our livelihood is threatened and criminalized? These people had been here earlier but their problem remains without being addressed by the government,” he said. Northern Dispatch/Posted by (Bulatlat.com)

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