Friday, July 5, 2013

DSWD intensifies monitoring of children used in armed conflict

From the Website of DSWD

DSWD intensifies monitoring of children used in armed conflict

Posted on 03 July 2013.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its attached agency, Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), said that it has intensified its monitoring system to ensure that children are not used in armed conflict.

This was announced by DSWD Secretary and CWC Chairperson Corazon Juliano- Soliman after the United Nations cited the Philippines as among 22 countries last year that experienced conflicts involving child warriors. According to the report, there were 11 recorded incidents of recruitment and use of children, involving 23 boys and 3 girls, 12 to 17 years old, by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), New People’s Army (NPA), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“We are deeply concerned with this UN report and we want to know if there is truth on this. This government does not allow the recruitment of child warriors,” Secretary Soliman said.

Secretary Soliman instructed the CWC which chairs the Monitoring, Reporting and Response System (MRRS) Inter-agency Team to double its effort in the monitoring of cases. The team is composed of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH) and Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

The team’s main task is to gather, validate, and monitor reports of incidences of grave child rights violations, and ensure provision of appropriate and timely inter-agency response.

To strengthen the MRRS, the CWC drafted a proposed Executive Order adopting the Expanded Comprehensive Program Framework for Children in Situations of Armed Conflict and directs national government agencies and local government units to protect children from grave child rights violation. The EO is being finalized by OPAPP and will be submitted to the President for approval.

The CWC is also currently conducting an orientation on the MRRS protocol for social workers, teachers, police officers, and health workers. The protocol outlines the flow of reporting of child rights violations and the provision of immediate response.

To further ensure the protection of children from exploitation, the CWC is also pushing for the passage of the Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict (CSAC) Bill. The bill seeks to provide for a comprehensive protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of children in situations of armed conflict. This bill also imposes penalty on parents who encourage their children to join armed groups.

The bill will be re-filed when Congress resumes in July. ### - See more at:

DSWD Website