The Republic Act 9344 known as the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 celebrated 10 years of its existence. This law recognizes the right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty and exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development. It further defines a child at risk and a child in conflict with the law. This law also points to the minimum age of criminal liability: A child fifteen (15) years of age or under at the time of the commission of the offense shall be exempt from criminal liability.
Children are often used in drug trafficking nowadays because of this exemption. Hence, some call for a lowering of this minimum age so that children committing heinous crimes can be put behind bars. Child rights advocates insist that in these instances, children are victims too.
Since signing the UN CRC, the government is obliged to recognize the full spectrum of human rights for all children and strengthen efforts in enforcing the rights of children. Different branches of government call for increasing programs that protect children’s rights:
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) urges barangays to promote children’s rights in the search for child-friendly barangays.
The Department of Education (Dep Ed) issued a memorandum on its child protection policy, policy and guidelines on protecting children in school from abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse. Dep Ed also strengthens protection for the reintegration of children at risk and children in conflict with the law.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) created a Committee for the Special Protection of Children.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has rescued over 150 victims of webcam sex tourism and other forms of child abuse.
In the UN CRC, the guiding principles of the Convention include non-discrimination, adherence to the best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and the right to participate. In our own ways, we can also promote children’s rights and help in the reintegration of children at risk and children in conflict with the law.
Join us as we discuss questions that need to be answered in implementing programs that aim to protect children’s rights, tonight at #HealthXPH tweetchat (Saturday, September 3, 2016) at 9PM MLA/9AM EST:
T1. What are the different approaches to reintegrate children at risk and children in conflict with the law?
T2. Suggest ways on how we can keep children out of trouble and out of harm’s way.
T3. What enabling environment can allow children to claim their own rights?