Filipino children voiced out their concerns in a national forumPublished on 19 Nov 2012 in Articles, Children & Youth, Featured Article, News, Slides by author
19 November 2012
Quezon City, Philippines – More than 400 children and supporting adults from about 40 children’s groups and child-focused civil society organizations nationwide gathered in a National Children’s Forum on children’s issues. The activity was organized to provide space for children to discuss their issues and come up with a comprehensive picture of children’s situation in the Philippines.
”Children know exactly what their situation is, as they have first hand experience of their own issues and problems. They know what is lacking and what needs to be done in terms of solutions. And more importantly, they are capable of providing suggestions on how children’s lives in their communities can be improved,” according to Anna Lindenfors, Country Director of Save the Children in the Philippines.
The outcomes of the forum will form part of the children’s groups’ platforms to influence voters and 2013 election candidates in prioritizing and pushing forth programs for child rights. “We expect that the children’s forum will provide more and even new evidences of unmet rights of Filipino children,” explained by Lindenfors.
The event was organized by the Children Talk to Children About the UN CRC (C2C) Project, an initiative of child-led organizations to strengthen meaningful participation of children in CRC monitoring and advocacy. It was supported by Save the Children and Samahan ng Mamamayan – Zone One Tondo (ZOTO).
The event was organized in to celebrate the 23rd Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC).
An alternative report prepared by Philippine NGO Coalition on the UN CRC in 2008 highlighted the crucial gaps in implementing child rights in the country. It revealed the absence of clear allocation for children in national budget and a decrease of budget for social services. Also, around 12,000 children were left behind due to parents and guardians working abroad, and leaving children with inadequate protection from abuse, early sexual activity and its consequences. Furthermore, massive displacement of families due to the armed conflict in Mindanao has affected almost 900,000 children from 2001 to 2008.