04 July 2019, Geneva, Switzerland – The Philippines joined other States in renewing its commitment to promote and protect children’s rights as the international community commemorates this year the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“The Philippines enjoins all States to pursue with renewed determination our commitments to promote and protect every right of every child. While each country has its own particular challenges and contexts, we all share the imperative of providing safe and protective environments for our children, where they can grow and thrive to achieve their fullest potentials,” emphasized Hon. Camilo Gudmalin, Undersecretary for Special Concerns of the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development.
In addressing the 41st Human Rights Council Session on 28 June 2019, Undersecretary Gudmalin cited how it tried to fulfill this duty to the Convention by enhancing its national frameworks. In particular, the Undersecretary said that the Philippine Congress enacted 29 laws from 2010 to 2017 that relate to child rights protection – 13 on child protection, 9 on education and sports, 4 on health, 2 on youth participation and 1 on civil status of children.
The Philippines has its five-year National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) in line with the Philippine National Strategic Framework for the Development of Children for 2000-2025. There are also programs to mainstream child rights into local development planning and the allocation of the annual 20 percent increase from 2010 to 2017 for child-related programs in the National Expenditure Program.
More recently, Republic Act 11188, which provides for the Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict, became a law in January this year. Both UNICEF and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General commended this as a landmark law that closed a protection gap for boys and girls in the Philippines.