FORUM ON CHILDREN

The Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns and Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) spearheaded the ILPS Commission 9 workshop with a title “Criminalizing Children, Militarizing Education”. The workshop was attended by at least 16 participants from nine countries. During the workshop, three topics were discussed including the campaign against the lowering the age of criminal responsibility, attacks on lumad community schools and the proposed measure to revive the mandatory ROTC. Short films were presented before each topic discussed by Salinlahi, Save Our Schools Network and the Gabriela Youth.

Workshop facilitators highlighted that the Duterte government is continuously destroying the Filipino children’s future in its implementation of policies and programs that inevitably place them and their marginalized families in greater peril. Children have become direct targets of Duterte’s war on drugs and counter-insurgency programs.

Aside from the Martial Law, the Memo 32 have tallied increasing number of children victims of human rights violations. Many children have been orphaned by the series of extrajudicial killings in Negros and Eastern Visayas since the memo was issued late November 2018.

The proposal to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility, revival of mandatory ROTC for Senior High School students and the attacks of Lumad community schools highlight the anti-children, fascist attacks of the Duterte regime and mindlessly aim and attempt to use children in its military engagements against the Filipino people who demand for their rights, justice and change.

Participating organizations also shared the situation of children in their respective countries as well as their programs to address their concerns. A workshop declaration and a resolution were issued by the workshop participants.

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