THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN CHILD PARTICIPATION RIGHTS
November has been declared as National Children’s Month! The Passage of Repulic Act No. 10661, a consolidation of House Bill 1641 and Senate Bill 332, declared November of every year as National Children’s Month. It was approved by President Benigno S. Aquino III on May 29, 2015.
1. The rights.
In 1989, governments worldwide adopted the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, also known as the CRC or UNCRC. This convention has changed the way children are treated – as human beings with a distinct set of rights. UNICEF has published a child-friendly summary of these rights. Article 12 reads that “Every child has the right to have a say in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously”.
In Cebu, The Share A Child Movement Inc has worked with child rights advocates on room-to-room campaigns in schools to spread awareness on the right of the child. There are many other child-centered NGOs in the Philippines, advocating not only for child rights protection but also for child involvement in governance.
2. The real situation.
There are a lot of stories from news articles that abound regarding violations of the inherent rights of the child. There are reports about children videotaped performing indecent acts. Some articles discuss facts on human trafficking in the Philippines. There have been success stories about Cebu bar owners convicted for qualified trafficking of minors for sex. However, sexual abuse has moved to a different environment, as sex offenders are now online engaged in webcam sex tourism. Sweetie, is a 10-year old virtual Filipina girl who posed on video chatrooms to entrap pedophiles and sex predators across the globe. This kind of crime “requires a new way of policing”.
Child trafficking is real in the Philippines. Many crimes go unreported because victims lack information on human trafficking, crimes are concealed by victims and violators, or families of victims accept the situation as normal.
3. Prevention is key.
The Church also participates in National Children’s Month. This year’s National Children’s Month focuses on child participation rights, with the theme “Bata, Kasali ka, Ikaw ay Mahalaga!” (Child, you are included, you are precious!) It aims to highlight the right of the children to express their views, to be heard, and to actively participate in matters that affect them.
4. How do children actively participate in matters that affect them?
The major events and activities for National Children’s Month Celebration include zumbata, discussion on violence against children, story books for children and talent showcase of children.
For the Philippine government in 2015, the theme is “Komunidad at Pamahalaan Magkaisa, Pang-aabuso sa Bata, Wakasan Na!” (Community and Government unite to end child abuse!) which highlights protection from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination and to encourage stakeholders to promote as well as advocate protection of children at the family, schools, community, institution, organization and other settings
In the long run, ensuring the promotion of the UNCRC and providing children’s basic needs such as food, shelter and keeping them in school would protect them from the evils of this world. The idea of keeping a girl in school and supporting her development is the central theme of the Girl Effect.
Share you own ideas on how to promote children’s rights and prevent child abuse. Join us as we discuss this hot topic on child rights protection and their involvement in decision-making on matters that affect them tonight during the #HealthXPH tweetchat at 9PM.
T1. In what ways can children be involved in decision-making on matters that affect them?
T2. What challenges that hinder children from claiming their rights?
T3. What is the role of social media in promoting child participation rights?