CHR supports allowing children out to promote their physical, mental well-being | Inquirer News

CHR supports allowing children out to promote their physical, mental well-being

/ 01:58 PM July 14, 2021
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FILE 📷:Niño Jesus Orbeta/Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday expressed support for the government COVID-19 task force’s decision to allow children outside, saying this would help in reviving the children’s physical and mental well-being.

“Allowing young people to safely go outdoors will enable social interaction instead of just being glued on their digital devices. Outdoor activities will also revive their physical and mental vitality by being more engaged in the cultural and social life,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.

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“More importantly, the outdoor ambiance, opportunity to access diverse recreational and leisure activities, and quality social engagement, can help maintain their well-being and mental health,” she added.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed children aged five and above to go outside as long as they reside in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, and are accompanied by adults.

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De Guia said outdoor activities would help in providing balance to the children’s learning routine at home since face-to-face classes are still not allowed.

“During the course of the pandemic, there have been widespread reports on the mental toll and behavioral changes in children due to quarantine restrictions, economic loss for many families, and disruption of services,” De Guia said.

“Limited social interaction, remote learning, and the closing of recreational facilities have also limited the ability of children to spend time outdoors and maintain healthy well-being,” she added.

As the pandemic persists, the CHR stressed that children’s right to play, leisure, and recreational activities are essential to their growth and will enable their social participation in the community.

Still, De Guia said health protocols such as wearing face masks and observing physical distance must still be observed.

She also urged parents to “remain vigilant” in supervising their children to ensure that they are being protected from the virus.

“The preservation of the children‘s well-being and dignity is a collective responsibility. We must still ensure that children will suffer no further harm and that their best interest and basic rights are prioritized as we continue to hurdle through this pandemic,” she said.

Further, De Guia expressed optimism that the IATF policy would help revive the tourism industry in the country, particularly those that cater to family and children. — Sofia, Vertucio, trainee

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TAGS: Children, Commission on Human Rights, community quarantine, coronavirus Philippines, Human rights, IATF
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