As Amnesty International turns the page to the next chapter of its journey, we welcome all-new challenges in the modern world, and the return of a familiar face – A face of hope. A face of strength. A face of change.
The Adventures of Karapatana Project introduces, Karapatana, our human rights champion and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) hero. She is depicted as a strong young woman who defends human rights but like any ordinary human being, she is also vulnerable to difficult circumstances in life.
First launched in 2015, Karapatana first appeared in Amnesty International’s global campaign “My Body, My Rights,” urging for the end of control and criminalization over sexuality and reproduction by governments and others by working on eliminating the stigma surrounding these issues. The campaign also aimed to remind world leaders to uphold sexual and reproductive rights in negotiations moving forward from 2015.
In support of this campaign, Karapatana’s character appeared in an Amnesty infographics about sexual and reproductive health and rights distributed in health centers all over the Philippines, which was followed by the release of Adventures of Karapatana, the comics. In conjunction with this, a video series was also launched picking up from where the comics left off — Karapatana pregnant, made aware of her SRHR, and continuing her journey in aiding people who are in a similar situation.
In 2016, Karapatana cosplay was also launched during Amnesty Philippines’ Ignite for Rights ComicCon.
A colorized version was also published in 2018 with support from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Canada, ADRA Philippines, and Global Affairs Canada for their education project on teenage pregnancy in the Bicol Region called “Aramon Mo Nene“.
Read the Karapatana Comics on Issuu.
The name Karapatana is a derivative of the word “karapatan” meaning “rights” in Filipino. Karapatana fights for justice in the never-ending battle between good and evil. She is guided by a benevolent primordial entity named Anito (ancestor/nature spirit), who is constantly hounded by the sinister and equally ancient shadow called Anino (also “shadow” in English).
The first issue, Adventures of Karapatana, reveals our superhero pregnant with Jake’s child. Although she has super human strength, she begins to doubt herself for not knowing where or who to turn to for help. She worried about what her mother, Karapatananay, friends and even Jake would think of her. The thought alone made her feel hopeless and she saw her future slowly slipping away, until help came in the character of Tina, the health worker. Karapatana takes us to her journey of self-discovery, later on carried over to a video series of the title, where we see how Karapatana used her experiences to help others in their own SRHR journey.
In The Return of Karapatana, more than a singular heroic figure, Karapatana extends her legacy through time. Courageous and empowered heroes in Philippine history have upheld the title, including Tandang Sora, Gabriela Silang, Kumander Liwayway, and many more. The mantle is passed down from generation to generation through a mystical anting-anting (amulet). And the newest Karapatana is revealed to be Diwa Herrera.