DAVAO CITY – On the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), various child rights advocates here criticized government for not doing its obligation as one of the signatories.
Jeannette Ampog, executive director of Talikala, Inc., a non-government organization (NGO) advocating the welfare of prostituted women and children, said that “there are more violations against children that are still not been discussed in the public arena”.
“Those children who are deprived of going to school, those who are not fed when scolded, are just one of the many that are considered violation on children which are not yet brought into public discussion,” Ampog said.
She said they have monitored 319 prostituted prostituted girls, 383 child laborers and 15 sexual abuses on children.
Ampog said that children who are in streets or allowing children to labor under difficult and risky situations, instead of going to school, “is one violation of their right”.
The UN document is an international human rights treaty which was convened on November 20, 1989 and signed by 194 countries. The Philippines is the 31st signatory.
It is stated under Article 3 of the treaty that each state that signed, “shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.”
Mario Castillo, program director of another child advocate NGO, Child Alert, told in a press conference that “the government is allocating more funds to other expenses rather than catering it to children’s concerns”, citing the Php 1.5 million budget for the city’s christmas lights display.
“But there are already councils in the barangays which are already formed, but not yet functional,” he said.
In the region, “the Barangay Council that caters the welfare of the children gets only P100,000 per year”.
On the 25th anniversary of the UNCRC, child rights advocate groups would continue with educating the barangays and communities with high cases of abuses.
Ampog said they would invite children from the communities during their community visits “and let them talk if they have experienced the rights that they must have”.
Castillo said that the Child Alert did a forum discussion on the children development today at the Episcopal training center in Matina Davao City.
He said that his group invited barangay officials and personnel who are working as part of the barangay council on childrens’ rights. (davaotoday.com)