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amid furor over kid in sona rally

CHR says children have the right to join rallies, too

/ 01:03 PM July 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Children, like adults, have the right to join protests too, provided that the staging of rallies are lawful and peaceful, the Commission on Human Rights – National Capital Region (CHR-NCR) said Thursday.

Several netizens earlier asked the CHR to look into a Facebook photo, supposedly taken during President Rodrido Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, showing a child “of tender years” with a placard during a protest action.

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CHR-NCR said all persons, regardless of age, have the right to participate in public gatherings, rallies and demonstrations, “provided these are lawful and peaceful in character.”

“Children have the rights to expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly. There is no law that prohibits them from participating from public gatherings or demonstrations,” it said in a statement Wednesday.

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“Hence, they should be encouraged to express their thoughts and own opinions on various issues and matters of public concern,” the agency said.

The CHR-NCR nevertheless said it appreciates the concern for children of the people who raised the issue

It reminded protesters to ensure and prioritize the safety and security of children taking part in public demonstrations, and encouraged parents or guardians of minors to personally oversee their children.

“If unwarranted, [parents are encouraged] not to bring or involve children of tender years in mass demonstrations,” it said.  /gsg

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TAGS: Children, CHR, rally, SONA 2019
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