Hundreds of youth and children joins a unity walk to promote Children’s Rights
Hundreds of children and youth, as well as d representatives from various civil society organizations, joined a unity walk last November 16, carrying slogans that represented advocacies in promoting children’s rights. The activity was led by the Committee on Women and Children of Barangay 176 in partnership with the Caloocan Civil Society Coalition (CCSC). The solidarity walk coincided with the commemoration of the Children’s Month which marked the almost universal adoption of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989.
As convener of the CCSC, Balay marched alongside learners from its Alternative Learning Program, many of whom are survivors or at risk of ill treatment, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Children from five public schools joined the activity as well together with the students and teachers. Children’s groups affiliated with other members of the CCSC participated as well.
The unity walk started in Phase 1, Bagong Silang and concluded at the Silangan Elementary School in Phase 3 with a short program prepared for the attendees.
The Balay learners have called on authorities to protect children from parental abuse, bullying in school, and the excessive use of force by law enforcers. They expressed concern over reports of children that have fallen as ‘collateral damage’ in violent anti-criminality drive of authorities. They also asked lawmakers not to lower the age of criminal responsibility to nine years old as this would criminalize and impose harsh sanction on children who have been exploited by adults to commit offenses. They instead called for the effective implementation of the existing Juvenile Justice Law by providing more facilities, offering psychosocial programs, and family support to protect minors from adverse life situation.
Members of the civil society as represented by the CCSC were honored and acknowledged by the Barangay for their active and continued involvement in barangay led activities to promote and ensure child protection