Children’s rights

It seems like 2020 was a blur. It is now December. Christmas is coming. But there were important celebrations that happened in November…so allow me to backtrack a bit.

November is celebrated as the National Children’s Month. The event is pursuant to Republic Act No. 10661 or the “Act Declaring the Month of November of Every Year as the National Children’s Month.”

It coincides with the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the United Nations General Assembly on November 20, 1989.

This year, the theme focused on promoting the rights of every child in this time of the pandemic.

The provincial government of Negros Occidental is supportive of the children, not just during the children’s month, but all year long.

It has formed the Provincial Council for the Protection of the Children (PCPC) for a long time.

Recent PCPC meeting

The council is headed by the governor with members from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Department of Education (DepEd), Provincial Health Office (PHO), Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO), Provincial Budget Office, Hospital Operations Department (HOD), Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) and various organizations like the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), H.O.P.E. Volunteers Foundation, Inc., Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc., Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation, Inc., USLS Bahay Pag-asa, Bacolod Girls Home, Home of Hope, Voice of the Free, Holy Infant Nursery Foundation and child representatives.

The group has programs that assist children with the four fundamental rights of the child: survival, protection, development, and participation.

Furthermore, here are the 12 rights of a Filipino Child, according to bthe Makati Medical Center page:

  1. Every child has the right to be born well.
    It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure they can provide a safe environment for their unborn child. This includes proper medical attention and care from conception, birth, and throughout childhood years in a newborn services unit or pediatric center.
  2. Every child has the right to a wholesome family life.
    The child’s first learning environment and teachers are their home and family. They are entitled to be a part of a loving family that will instill ethical values and morals in them.
  3. Every child has the right to be raised well and become contributing members of society.
    By raising them in a safe and loving environment, parents and guardians can shape the personalities of their young to be useful and contributing members of their respective communities when they grow older.
  4. Every child has the right to basic needs.
    The four basic needs of people outlined in the law are as follows: a balanced diet, adequate clothing, sufficient shelter, and proper healthcare. This also includes any other requirements to lead a healthy and active life.
  5. Every child has the right to access what they need to have a good life.
    This right goes beyond the basic needs and focuses more on the atmosphere of the place they will be raised in. A child’s needs must always be attended to so they feel the support of people around them, which in turn will build and strengthen their character in adulthood.
  6. Every child has the right to education.
    In an ideal world, every child should have the means to go to a classroom and have access to books and learning materials that can enrich their intelligence and skills.
  7. Every child has the right to play and enjoy their youth.
    Children have the right to engage in wholesome recreational activities whenever they wish and not be exploited for events that are deemed only for adults to do, i.e., intensive manual labor.
  8. Every child has the right to be protected from danger.
    This includes all hazards that could affect their physical, mental, and emotional states, such as removing them from dangerous living situations, preventing them from getting into accidents, or protecting them from the abuse of adults, to name a few.
  9. Every child has the right to live in a productive environment.
    Children should be surrounded by safe communities that inspire them to give back when they are older. This means staying away from bad influences and situations that can cause harm to their health.
  10. Every child has the right to be cared for in the absence of their parent or guardian.
    If the parent or guardian fails to fulfill their role, the State shall assume custody and care for the child, providing them with their fundamental needs for growth and development.
  11. Every child has the right to good governance.
    Children also have a right to be born under the presence of good governance that can inspire them to become a helpful and active citizen. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to get involved with politics but rather have an interest in being involved in political discussions for the betterment of their country.
  12. Every child has the right to freedom and peace.
    Last but not the least, every child is entitled to do whatever they want in their lives, so long as it contributes to the peace and betterment of the communities they are a part of.

It is the parents and guardians (the adults) responsibility to make sure that these rights are met. The children rely on us. That is why there are laws protecting the children (which I will share in another article). The children are those people who are below 18 years old.

November 23-27 was the National Anti-Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week. The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) started last November 25 and will end on December 12.

Will share more next time.*

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