Series of Workshops on Child Sexual Abuse Safety and Prevention Held at Barangay 176, Bagong Silang, Caloocan City

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“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul” — Dave Pelzer, A Child Called “It”s

A chunk of its campaign in advancing child protection and human rights, the Children Center (CLRDC) organized a series of workshops on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention and Safety in its partner Barangay in Caloocan City, at Barangay 176 from February to July 2016.

The said activity commenced in February this year with the members of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) as the first batch of the shareholders to avail this significant exercise. The succeeding workshops run twice a month with different batches of participants. This activity was one of the needs identified by the BCPC that necessitates information drive to address the increasing numbers of cases of child sexual abuse occurring in the said barangay.

For the last leg of the seminar/workshop series, CLRDC through the office of Kagawad Ruth Fredejas of Barangay 176, Zone 15, District 1 of Caloocan city, conducted a whole day activity on Child Sexual Abuse Safety and Prevention Measures last 2 July 2016 at the Barangay Hall of Barangay 176.

The last streak of the seminar/workshop for this cycle was attended by mothers, guardians and children as young as 5 years old from Bagong Silang Phases 1,5, and 9, and the whole day event was filled with engaging discussions, activities, and sharing from the participants and the resource speakers.

Subjects ranging from the basic concepts of Anti-Child Abuse law, common misconceptions about sexual abuse, tell-tale signs of child sexual abuse to different ways to protect the children from child abuse and sexual abuse were discussed. The highlight of the topic was the clue on “how perpetrators groom their potential victims.”

To make the workshop more interactive, the CLRDC team prepared activities that suits the participants and that made the learning experience all-inclusive by allowing children’s voices to be heard .

Maribel, one of the many mothers who came to the event said that her learning from the workshop is very helpful especially since her daughter is still young. She added that the safety tips and measures are useful to protect her daughter as well as the young children in her community from abusers. Princess, a 9-year old participant shared that she enjoyed the activities during the event and that she learned about protecting herself from any possible perpetrator.

At the end of the workshop, engaging discussions followed among the participants as well as consultations with the representatives of the barangay with respect to the proper reporting of possible cases of child abuse and sexual abuse in the community. This interest shown by the participants encourages CLRDC to sustain this kind of awarenessraising especially in the community where many marginalized children have less access to justice.

 

(By: Pamela Camacho, CLRDC Intern from University of the East College of Law)

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CLRDC at the International Colloquium on Juvenile Justice

March 2013, National Law University, New Delhi, India


CLRDC at the International Colloquium on Juvenile Justice

The Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC), through its Chairperson (Rowena Legaspi), was invited by India-based international NGO HAQ Center for Child Rights to represent the Philippines as a Resource Speaker in an International Colloquium on Juvenile Justice held in New Delhi, India last March 16-18, 2013.

The said international colloquium discussed the comparatives of the juvenile justice systems in some countries represented in the Colloquium such as the Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pretoria in South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, Washington, and Australia.  It also highlighted the common concerns and issues of the juvenile justice in the said countries in accordance with what the human rights standards provide such as those  indicated in the document on international minimum standards that must be observed in the treatment of persons deprived of liberty.

The said colloquium was the first international colloquium in Asia on juvenile justice.  It aimed at promoting the campaign for the effective implementation of the juvenile justice law in each country and strengthening collaborations between NGOs that advance the human rights of children in prisons.

CLRDC at the International Colloquium on Juvenile Justice
CLRDC at the International Colloquium on Juvenile Justice

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House Bill 6052 Threatens Children’s Human Rights

Repost:  CLRDC Press Release at  http://hronlineph.com/2012/06/06/press-release-house-bill-6052-threatens-childrens-human-rights-clrd

“With the proposed amendment on the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, specifically on the age of criminal responsibility, children above 12 are more prone to abuses and their human rights are threatened.“ This is the position of Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC) Inc., an NGO that monitors, documents and provides direct services such as awareness-raising and free legal assistance to children victim of violence. Rowena Legaspi, CLRDC Executive Director stressed that “lowering the age of criminal responsibility constitutes a grave breach on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which the Philippines has ratified and acceded to.“

Rule 4 of the Beijing Rules recommends that the beginning of minimum age of criminal responsibility shall not be fixed at too low an age level, bearing in mind the facts of emotional, mental and intellectual maturity. The committee also encourage States to increase its minimum age to a higher level (CRC Committee, General Comment No. 10: children’s rights in juvenile justice, UN document CRC/C/GC/10, 2007, paragraph 32).

Especially, the German delegation made the recommendation last week during the 2nd Cycle of Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines not to lower the age of criminal responsibility. Alicia Bala, Undersecretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said prosecuting children as young as 12 would also signify that the authorities had given up on the children. Bala said it was too early to judge the Juvenile Justice Law because it had yet to be implemented properly. She said children in conflict with the law should not be treated by the state as hardened criminals but as victims of circumstances beyond their control.

If the age of criminal responsibility is set to low, HB 6052 suggests, the notion of responsibility becomes meaningless. To avoid that, there should be made a close relationship between criminal liability and other social rights such as civil majority (Commentary, Rule 4 of “The Beijing Rules”).

Edith Mychalewicz, a PhD student in International law who is currently a Legal Research intern at CLRDC added that “there has yet been no study that lowering the age of criminal responsibility has a positive effect on the rate of children´s so called anti-social behaviour. Only sensible rehabilitation programs and respectful behaviour towards the young member of our society, can have a positive effect on lowering the number of cases of children in conflict with law.”

“Under no circumstances that House Bill 6052 is fair to our children! Consequences such as higher numbers of child prisoners will be a step backward on our common goal towards the full enjoyment of human rights by everyone,” Mychalewicz further stressed. CLRDC and its nationwide networks of children’s organizations support the recommendations of Germany and Norway and pronounced that Juvenile Justice Law must be effectively implemented as amendment is not the solution for the State implementers’ failure to fulfil and discharge its human rights obligations to the children.”

Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, Inc.
401-B, CRM Building, No. 106 Kamias Road, Quezon City
Tel. No. 4333199

CLRDC Statement on the Proposed RPC Amendment Penalizing 12-year-old Children

Click here to download PDF – CLRDC stand on RPC Amendment.pdf

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