Mrs. Virginia Bonoan-DANDAN
Candidature for election to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
Name and first name: Bonoan-Dandan, Virginia (Philippines)
Date and Place of Birth: September 10, 1941, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Working Languages: Fluent in English, Reads Spanish and French
National Project Manager;
Human Rights Community Development Project in three Philippine Indigenous Peoples’
Communities, a bi-lateral project of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines and the
New Zealand Human Rights Commission
Adjunct Faculty in Human Rights;
Masters in Development Management Program, Asian Institute of Management, Makati, Philippines
Member; Philippine Working Group on ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism
Main Professional Activities:
Areas of expertise, advocacies and activities in human rights are: human rights education, learning
and training, the right to education, the right of everyone to participate in cultural life, the rights of
persons with disabilities, the rights of indigenous peoples, gender issues, human rights in
development and, human rights as an instrument of peace, harmony and unity in nation building.
Develops human rights education curriculum for special education in schools.
Conducts workshops for relevant State agencies on report writing for human rights treaty bodies, as
well as on national and regional follow-up action to the concluding observations of the various treaty
Conducts training courses in the national and regional levels in Asia, on civil and political, economic,
social and cultural rights, as well as the right to development.
Researches on human rights focused on human rights in development on the grassroots level,
especially for the disadvantaged and marginalized groups especially those who live in poverty and
Speaks and reads papers on human rights in various national and international conferences and other
Actively promotes and advocates the concept of human rights as an instrument of peace, unity and
harmony towards nation building through inter alia…
- personal engagement with States parties to assist them in understanding how best to
comply with their treaty obligations and advising them on possible follow-up action on
their respective Concluding Observations;
- working within the framework of human rights in community development, with rural
communities in the Philippines; and,
- the teaching and development of a tertiary level curriculum on human rights in
Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, 1977
Master of Arts in Anthropology, University of the Philippines, 1989
PhD, Anthropology, 1995
Doctoral level courses in Social Development (ongoing)
Other Main Activities relevant to the work of treaty bodies:
Chairperson of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for 8 years from
1999 to 2006.
Authored the CESCR’s General Comment No. 16 on Article 3 of the ICESCR, on “the equal right
of men and women to the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights.”
Co-authored with another committee member, General Comment No. 21, Article 15(1)(a) of the
ICESCR on “the right to take part in cultural life” recently adopted by the CESCR.
Assisted in the writing of the CESCR’s General Comment Number 5 on the Rights of Persons
Contributed to adoption of numerous concluding observations relevant to the rights of persons
As CESCR Chairperson, successfully negotiated for the establishment of the Joint Expert
Working Group on the Right to Education composed of 2 members from the UNESCO
Committee on Conventions and Recommendations, and 2 members of the CESCR. This joint
working group is the first formal partnership between a UN specialized agency and a treaty body,
created for the purpose of dealing with human rights issues related to concerns common to both—
in this case, the right to education.
Ongoing research and studies in developing indicators and benchmarks on the realization of
List of Recent Publications on Human Rights (from 2002):
General Comment 21: Article 15.1(a) the right to take part in cultural life
United Nations, E/C.12/GC/21, 2009.
Monitoring Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Towards the Prevention of Genocide
Finding Meaning in Cultural Life
UNESCO, SHS/RSP/HRS-GED/2007/PI/H/2, 2007
General Comment 16: Article 3, ICESCR, the equal rights of men and women in the
enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights
Economic and Social Council, E/C.12/2005/4, 2005.
The Right to Development: Philippine Country Study
Harvard School of Public Health, 2004.
Dimensions of the Right to Take Part in Cultural Life
Center for Integrative and Development Studies
University of the Philippines, 2002