Save the Children to lawmakers: Pass law protecting PH kids from violence
MANILA, Philippines — International child rights group Save the Children Philippines on Wednesday joined the global call to end violence against children and appealed to the country’s lawmakers to pass legislation that will protect children from physical and verbal violence.
According to Save the Children, the Philippines is among the 134 countries that lack legislation protecting children from all forms of violence.
“About 42 million Filipino children do not have full legal protection from all forms of violence, specifically in places where they should be safe such as their homes,” the groups said in a statement.
Save the Children explained that physical and humiliating punishment of children often happens at home and in school. It also noted that thousands of children die from violence inflicted by their parents, teachers, or caregivers.
Among the forms of violence or torture it cited were smacking, kicking, shaking, burning, and forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions or humiliating treatment, which belittles the child.
The international child rights group pointed out that the national government has yet to pass a policy on children’s protection on “physical and humiliating punishment” under the target agreement among member countries of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of 2015.
“We join the clamor of children for protection from punishment that hurts, humiliates, and denigrates them. We appeal to our legislators to pass ‘The Positive Parenting of Children’s Act’ (Senate Bill 2036),” Save the Children Philippines CEO Atty. Alberto Muyot said.
Authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, SB 2036 is aimed at aiding Filipino parents and guardians to adopt effective, healthy parenting methods for children’s development.
“The method will ensure the rights of children are respected, especially their right to a life free from all forms of violence, including physical, humiliating, and degrading forms of punishment,” the groups said, adding that “only one in seven children globally are protected by laws against physical and humiliating punishment which is the most common form of violence against children.”