Oliver Bugarin 3 0 0 5 min to read

PH declares “strong adherence” to the UN convention on children’s rights.

During a two-day fruitful dialogue in Geneva, Switzerland, the Philippine government reiterated its “strong devotion” to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

“We have always accorded high importance to our human rights commitments, as you can glean from our engagement with stakeholders both at the international and national level,” Council for the Welfare of Children Executive Director Angelo Tapales said in a report on Manila’s implementation of the CRC before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on September 13 and 14.

“At the Council for the Welfare of Children, we’ll keep advocating for human rights and children’s rights in particular. Children’s rights are, after all, human rights, he said.

According to Tapales, the Philippines has set up “novel systems” over the previous two years to lessen the effects of the pandemic on children.

These included the long-term 2030 Basic Education Development Plan, the operational hotline numbers, and online complaint desks for reporting and responding to incidences of violence against children.

Tapales claimed that despite the pandemic, Manila continued to work on enacting laws protecting children, such as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, the Founding Recognition and Protection Act, and laws establishing an inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities in support of the Inclusive Education Act.

“The State’s regard for authentic, meaningful, and ethical kid engagement through consultation is all reflected in the enactment of these key pieces of law,” he stated.

He said that before the current 19th Congress’s term expires in 2025, the Magna Carta of Children, a comprehensive law on children’s human rights, is also expected to be passed. This will establish the Philippine Commission on Children and the Child Ombudsman.

On the second day of the debate, Tapales stated that as of August 2022, the government will have built 61 child helplines and 115 women and children protection centers to respond to complaints of violence against children in 59 provinces.

He continued by saying that steps are being taken to guarantee that children with disabilities have access to inclusive education.

There is a National Strategic Plan on Children with Disabilities in the Philippines. According to him, this was created to serve as the nation’s multi-sectoral framework and guidance in creating an environment that allows all children with disabilities to enjoy their rights and reach their full potential.

According to him, this plan has been carried out through meetings and the creation of numerous modules, among other things.

The UNCRC, formed of 18 independent experts, has been commissioned by the Philippines every five years since it ratified the CRC in August 1990.

Together with Evan Garcia, the Philippine ambassador to the UN in Geneva, and Severo Catura, the executive director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat, Tapales served as the leader of the Philippine delegation during the productive discussion.

They are accompanied by officials from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Justice, the Department of Health, the Women and Children Protection Center of the Philippine National Police, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council, the Philippine Commission on Women, and the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court.

Given that we have so much to be proud of and share with the world, including the protection of children’s rights, Catura noted that the UN’s involvement is a chance to present a truthful and positive picture of the human rights environment in the Philippines.

He continued, we can communicate the crucial message that the Philippines’ governance agenda places a high premium on the promotion, protection, and fulfillment of Filipino citizens’ human rights, particularly those of the most vulnerable.

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