On the occasion of National Children’s Day, a network of child rights advocates said the government, including its military forces, remains the ‘primary violator of children’s rights.’
The Philippine government signed the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child on July 1990, and thereafter, signed Proclamation 74 declaring October 17 as National Children’s Day.
Alphonse Rivera, spokesperson of Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns said, “We can see, every single day, the depressing situation of our children.” He said that the basic rights of children such as the right to food, the right to education and the right to protection are being neglected.
“President [Gloria Macapagal] Arroyo never celebrated this day in a way meaningful for children. She instead continues to wage war in Mindanao that traumatizes more and more children,” said Rivera.
Salinlahi organized a gathering of over a hundred Muslim and Christian preschool children at the picnic grounds along the Marikina Riverbanks this morning. The children floated rafts made of banana trunks pierced with flaglets of children’s drawings. The drawings symbolize their dreams and aspirations for peace and respect for their rights, said Rivera.
Gabriela Women’s Party List Representative Luzviminda Ilagan told a story about children displaced by militarization in Mindanao.
Daughters of action star Robin Padilla, Queenie and Kylie, also showed their support for displaced children. They came with pre-school children and teachers of Liwanag ng Kapayapaan Foundation, Inc. (Bulatlat.com)