Karapatan Alliance Philippines (commonly shortened to Karapatan, which translates to rights in Filipino) is a left-wing[1][2][3] non-governmental organization and human rights alliance[4] that conducts research and advocacy of human rights campaigns as well as monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in the Philippines, particularly in the context of the Philippine government's campaign against the communist insurgency in the country[5] and the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.[6]

Karapatan Alliance Philippines
Formation19 August 1995
TypeHuman rights non-government organization
PurposeHuman rights activism
  • Philippines
FieldsHuman rights education and training, campaign and advocacy, legal services, human rights violations documentation and research, lobbying
16 regional chapters and more than 40 member civil society organizations
Secretary General
Cristina Palabay
Elisa Tita Lubi

Karapatan draws attention to human rights abuses in the Philippines through education campaigns and trainings, providing legal services to victims of human rights violations, and lobbying efforts in the country as well as engaging platforms such as the United Nations[7] and other international human rights bodies.[4]

Karapatan is a member of the International League of Peoples' Struggle,[8] Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation, the SOS - Torture Network of the World Organisation Against Torture, and it also co-convenes the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines and the Philippine Universal Periodic Review Watch.[9]


Karapatan was founded in 1995 by human rights activists who were active in the resistance movements against the regime of then-Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos.[10]

In 2007, the organization's former secretary general Marie Hilao-Enriquez presented on extra-judicial political killings before the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Cal).[11][12]

In 2019, after the Philippine government accused Karapatan of being a front for the Communist Party of the Philippines, which the government had labeled as a terrorist group in 2017, Karapatan filed several complaints with United Nations officials.[7]

Zara Alvarez, former education director of Karapatan's regional chapter in Negros, was shot dead on 17 August 2020. She was Karapatan's 13th member to be killed under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte,[13][14] who has called Karapatan an "organization of demons" and an alleged "front" of communist rebels[15] for Karapatan's criticism of the human rights violations in his "war on drugs." Karapatan has been alleged to be a particular target of Philippine security forces and their agents.[16]


  1. ^ Gomez, Jim. "Philippine leader pardons US Marine in transgender killing". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  2. ^ Davidson, Helen; Fonbuena, Carmela (23 September 2020). "Facebook removes fake accounts with links to China and Philippines". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Philippine Rights Group Under Attack". Human Rights Watch. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b "KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights". Peace Insight (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  5. ^ Pagiwa, Lerato. "PHILIPPINES: 'All positive developments have been driven by civil society's persistence'". civicus.org. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  6. ^ "KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights". Peace Insight (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Karapatan raises 'red-tagging' concerns with UN officials". The Philippine Star. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Organizations – International League of Peoples' Struggle". ilps.info. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Karapatan Alliance Philippines (KARAPATAN)". FORUM-ASIA. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  10. ^ "About KARAPATAN | Karapatan". www.karapatan.org. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  11. ^ Lariosa, Joseph. "Hearing on Extra-Judicial Killings Up Before US Congress". Asian Journal. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2019..
  12. ^ "Extrajudicial Killings In The Philippines: Strategies To End The Violence". U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 14 March 2007. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  13. ^ Patag, Kristine Joy. "Zara Alvarez is our 13th rights worker killed under Duterte admin — Karapatan". philstar.com. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Karapatan condemns killing of human rights and health worker Zara Alvarez | Karapatan". www.karapatan.org. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  15. ^ Esguerra, Darryl John (2 August 2019). "Duterte calls Karapatan an 'organization of demons in the Philippines'". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Philippine Rights Group Under Attack". Human Rights Watch. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.

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