By Merlina Hernando Malipot
An international children’s organization urged political bets in the upcoming midterm elections to put children’s rights in their governance platform.
Save the Children Philippines said local candidates in the May 13 elections should “integrate protection of children’s rights in their platform of agenda as most of child abuse cases happen at home, in schools and in the communities.”
Save the Children Philippines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and former Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Atty. Albert Muyot said local officials have an “important role in promoting a safe and secure environment” for children in their communities. “Every child should not just survive, but thrive, and grow up to make their mark in the world,” Muyot said.
Thus, local candidates “should ensure that these rights of children are recognized and protected in their platform of governance,” he said.
Save the Children Philippines recently held a Children’s Interface Meeting with Pasay City mayoral candidates in Pasay City. The activity sought to recognize child participation rights where children can express their opinion on matters affecting them.
The activity, Muyot said, allowed the “local candidates to hear the issues from children themselves so they can integrate clear agenda and commitment in promoting children’s rights in their areas.”
The program was the culmination activity of Save the Children Philippines under the Build Urban Children’s Resilience against Shocks and Threats of Resettlement (BURST) project that seeks to teach children of their rights, build resilience in times of disasters and learn social accountability of local officials.
Children presented to the local candidates the issues and recommendations on the pressing problems in Pasay City and get the commitment of the local candidates in Pasay City to address the problems on safety and security, decent housing and protection from all forms of abuse in all settings-at home, schools and communities.
Among the pressing issues presented were the “need for protection of children from all forms of abuses – emotional, mental and physical including neglect – and from the effects of abuse of prohibited drugs.
Other issues were the recognition of the children’s rights to “safe and permanent houses as many of them are victims of forced evacuation;” the rights of children to “enjoy a safe and healthy environment where they can enjoy play and recreation” and the rights of children to have “access to free and quality education and to get information on reproductive health.”
Save the Children is a global movement with a footprint in 120 countries. It promotes the rights of children to “health and nutrition, education and protection from all forms of violence.”