Manila Standard Today reports:
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has signed Proclamation 1137 declaring “Child Abuse Prevention Year” until October 2007, making the Philippines the first country to issue such a declaration. “It is time to take concrete actions nationwide to stop the threats to the health and welfare of our children,” Mrs. Arroyo said during the launching of the year-long program at the Asilo de San Vicente de Paul in Manila yesterday.
Based on recent studies done by the University of the Philippines-Child Protection Unit and the Philippine Resource Network, more than 1.5 million Filipino children live on the streets, begging for food and often engaged in criminal activity with a third being prostituted. Another 3.5 million children from 5 to 17 years old are forced to work despite a legislation outlawing child labor. […]
“The safety of the Filipino child has been and still is being seriously threatened and there is urgent need to remind us of this very important value of protecting the child and preventing abuse. The Filipino people strongly believe that a child is a gift from Almighty God,” Mrs. Arroyo said. […]
Majority of the child abuse cases involved physical abuse, followed by psychological abuse, sexual molestation, forced sex and neglect.
The Philippine policy to protect the rights of children is enshrined no less in Article XV of the 1987 Constitution, which provides that “the State shall defend the right of the children to assistance, in-protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development.” […]