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Ngo Coalition Highlights Of Alternative Report - UN CRC 2009

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  • The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was established to oversee implementation of the UN CRC. The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts It reviews the State Party Report and all other reports. It receives communications by or on behalf of individuals whose rights were violated. It comments on the State Report as reflected in the Committee’s Concluding Observations Reporting to the Committee is a state obligation and not optional
  • Established in early 1990s to monitor the implementation of the UN CRC It provides another perspective on the status of children’s rights. It has been producing the alternative report since 1993. It provides concrete avenues for children to participate in the monitoring process.
  • Between 2003 and 2006, poverty incidence increased from 30.0 percent to 32.9 percent despite average GDP growth of 5.4 percent for that period. Foreign investments reached Php 212.5 billion in 2007. Foreign-owned companies have been allowed to operate large-scale mining facilities and pesticides-dependent mono-crop plantations in Mindanao. These have led to the displacement of hundreds of families from their communities. In the ensuing violence, a total of 2380 children were affected in early 2008.
  • Allocation for health has steadily declined from 2.53% of the national budget in 1993 to 1% in 2007. While the budget may have slightly increased to 2% in 2008 and 2009, the increase is so small that it is not adequate to respond to the impact of the worsening poverty situation on children’s health. Interest payments on debt account for 25% of the national budget in 2008 and 22% in 2009. There is a separate account for principal debt payments which is not included in the computation of the proportion of the budget allocated to debt service. Actual budget allocation for debt payment and interest amounting to 43% of the total budget in 2008 and 41% of the total budget in 2009. These payments get the largest portion of the national budget, more than the combined budget allocations for the DSWD, DOH and DepEd. Corruption cases in DepEd, e.g. vitamin-fortified noodles, overpricing of school construction, etc.
  • Arroyo Administration issued AO 247 in 4 December 2008 instructing the POEA to refocus its functions “from regulation to full-blast market development efforts” so it can tap into the international job market for expatriate Filipino workers. This is contrary to the provisions of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 that says “the State does not promote overseas employment as a means to sustain the economic growth and achieve national development.”
  • The NGO Coalition recognizes that the Philippines has a relatively advanced legal framework regarding children’s rights. However, there are still gaps in relation to the protection of children. Also, compliance to the UNCRC should not be limited to improving the policy or legal framework, but should include the proper dissemination and implementation of the policies and laws that have been enacted.
  • The summary executions of children with suspected involvement in criminal activities continue to happen. Out of the 890 summary executions reported since 1999, 81 are children between the ages of 12 to 18 years old (77 males & 4 females). After the visit of Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Hights Council on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, a total of 364 individuals were killed. Of this number, 38 were children (35 males and 3 females). The continued practice of summary executions of children and suspected criminals in Davao City perpetuate a culture of impunity among those guilty and reinforce public apathy and helplessness among the victims’ families
  • According to CRC, 66 children were killed from 2001 to 2008. This includes 26 children who were victims of extrajudicial killings on suspicion that they were NPA supporters or sympathizers. Others were killed in counter-insurgency operations conducted by the AFP. A total of 29 children survived the military ops in which their family members were killed.
  • According to a situation report produced by Save the Children, as of October 19, based on NDCC data, 8.5 million persons (or 1.77 million families), including an estimated 5.3 million children, are affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng; 52,317 families (or an estimated 156,951 children) are in 586 evacuation centers in various parts of Metro Manila, Northern and Southern Luzon and Rizal Province. The impact of the disaster on urban poor communities has even worsened the already difficult situation of children and families in these communities. The assessment conducted by Save the Children reveals that the negative effects of the disaster have become even more evident weeks after the disaster struck. There are reports of children contracting upper respiratory diseases (colds, cough), diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and infections due to exposure to contaminated floodwaters. Especially in the evacuation centers, it was observed that children are often left on their own as parents seek livelihood or return to their homes to clean up. Parents say that they observe that their children (especially the adolescents) become fearful and anxious even with just a little rain, and are afraid to be trapped in floodwaters. Many children have lost their school things (uniform, school supplies and books), hindering their return to school. Some schools are also still flooded, and many are still occupied by evacuees, making the holding of classes quite a challenge. There is limited access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Toilets and bathing areas do not provide adequate privacy especially for adolescent girls and women. Older siblings especially older girls carry much of the burden of caring for the family and doing tasks (such as lining up for relief goods, fetching water) especially when both parents are at work. As families are moving out of evacuation centers into relatives’ houses or other areas, children also run the risk of being trafficked. There is also an absence of data on the number of affected children and their situation and the lack of information on the impact of the typhoon on children, the specific needs and concerns of children are not identified; thus, responses tend to address only the general needs of families and communities.
  • Transcript

    • 1. CHILDREN AT THE MARGINS of DEVELOPMENT Highlights of the NGO Alternative Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
    • 2. UN CRC Reporting Process Government UN Committee on the Rights of the Child NGOs Children Programs Advocacy CWC NGO Coalition report report Concluding observations
    • 3. Phil. NGO Coalition on the UN CRC
      • Promote the UN CRC
      • Monitor the implementation of the UN CRC
      • Utilize the NGO Alternative Report and the Concluding Observations to advocate for change in policy and practice
      • Build the capacity of the Coalition and its members
    • 4. NGO Coalition Members
      • Asia against Child Trafficking
      • Childhope Asia
      • ChildFund Philippines
      • Consuelo Foundation
      • ECPAT Philippines
      • ERDA Foundation
      • John J. Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues
      • Lunduyan Foundation
      • National Council for Social Development
      • Open Heart Foundation
      • Plan International
      • Salinlahi Foundation
      • Save the Children
      • World Vision Development Foundation
      • Visayan Forum
    • 5. NGO Alternative Report Process
      • Report covers the period 2001-2007
      • Island-wide consultations
        • 111 adults, 110 children
        • 101 NGOs and children’s organisations
        • 14 administrative regions of the Philippines
      • Experts’ Review
        • Civil Society Network for Education Reforms
        • Primary Health Care Coalition
    • 6. General context
      • Total population 88.57M
      • Population of children: 36 million (41.73 %)
      • Economic growth rate:
      • 5.6% (2005-2006)
      • 7.0% (2006-2007)
      • 5.2% (2007-2008)
      • Inflation rate between 2003 and 2006 was at 6.61% (vs. 4.42% between 2000 and 2003)
      • Foreign debt PHP 3.798T (USD 86B)
    • 7. Key factor affecting CRC compliance
      • Economic growth did not translate to poverty reduction
      • Certain government policies compromise children’s rights
      • = Foreign investment
      • = Aggressive promotion of tourism
      • = Reliance on overseas labor migration
      • = Priority for debt service over resource allocation for basic services
    • 8. Budget allocation
      • No clear allocation for children in the national budget
      • Decreasing budget for social services
      • Almost half of the national budget (41% in 2009) goes to debt servicing and interest payment
      • Government funds lost to corruption
    • 9. Budget allocation
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Amend the General Appropriations Act
      • Increase budget allocations for basic social services, specifically health and education.
      • Stop corruption at all levels to ensure that children benefit from the resources allocated to them
    • 10. Children and migration
      • Intensified promotion of overseas employment (AO 247; 2008)
      • An average of 4,300 OFWs leave the country daily; a n estimated 12,000 children left behind daily
        • Separation of children from parent/s
        • Children not adequately protected from abuse, early sexual activity and its consequences, drug abuse
    • 11. Children and migration
      • Mass migration of health workers - closure of 230 hospitals; ratio of nurse to patient declined (from 1:40 to 1:60)
        • May put at risk progress in reducing infant and under 5 mortality rates
        • May further increase maternal mortality rates
    • 12. Children and migration
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Develop policies and programs to ensure children are protected from the negative effects of migration and that they benefit from overseas remittances through access to health, education and social security.
      • Generate jobs
        • Improve the investment climate by addressing corruption and inefficiencies in the bureaucracy.
        • Set policies and provide the necessary inputs to increase agricultural productivity, develop local industries and support small to medium Filipino-owned enterprises.
    • 13. Legal framework for children’s rights
      • Bills pending in Congress:
      • Corporal punishment
      • Child pornography
      • Increasing the age of determining statutory rape
      • Foster Care
    • 14. Legal framework for children’s rights
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Prioritize and enact these bills for children
      • Once enacted, ensure that sufficient resources are allocated for their full implementation.
    • 15. Adolescent reproductive health
      • Increasing number of adolescents are becoming sexually active
      • Very little information and services on sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents
      • Bill on national Reproductive Health and Population Development is still pending in Congress
    • 16. Adolescent reproductive health
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Pass the RH bill immediately
      • Once enacted, ensure that relevant provisions on ARH will be adequately resourced and fully implemented
    • 17. Summary execution of children
      • Eight to ten people are being killed every month
      • One out of 10 people summarily executed is a child aged 12- below 18
    • 18. Summary execution of children
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Philippine Commission on Human Rights:
        • Release the findings of its investigation in Davao City and recommend actions to stop summary killings
        • Facilitate the administration of justice and indemnification of the victims and their families
        • Continuously document and monitor areas where summary killings happen
    • 19. Summary execution of children
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Department of Justice - ensure the protection of witnesses and allocate adequate resources to facilitate access to justice
      • Department of Interior and Local Government - file appropriate criminal and administrative cases against government officials directly involved and who perpetuate the summary killings
      • Department of Social Welfare and Development - mobilize adequate support services for the families of the victims of summary executions
    • 20. Juvenile justice
      • A positive outcome – Juvenile Justice Welfare Act (RA 9344)
      • Gaps in implementation
        • Lack of awareness and understanding
        • Lack of political will to implement the law
        • Lack of skills to implement programs for children in conflict with the law (CICL)
        • Lack of data on the profile of CICL
        • No concrete programs on rehabilitation and prevention (non-functional local councils for the protection of children [LCPCs])
        • Moves in Congress to amend the law (reduce the minimum age of criminal responsibility)
    • 21. Juvenile justice
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Fully implement the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act
      • Strengthen capacity building efforts to train stakeholders to prevent juvenile delinquency and manage, divert and rehabilitate children who have offended.
      • Widely disseminate the law
      • Do not support proposed amendments to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility
    • 22. Children in armed conflict
      • 66 children killed in conflict-related incidents
      • 50 cases of children tortured and 55 children arrested and detained on suspicion of their association with the NPA
      • In 2008 alone, 250,000 children were displaced in Surigao del Sur and Maguindanao
    • 23. Children in armed conflict
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Stop counter-insurgency military operations
      • Prosecute identified perpetrators of grave human rights violations against children
      • Facilitate children’s access to justice and provide child-survivors with the appropriate services for recovery and reintegration
      • Pass an enabling law that prohibits torture
      • Enact an enabling law to support the Optional Protocol on Children in Armed Conflict
      • Continue peace efforts and address underlying causes of insurgencies
    • 24. Children in situations of disaster
      • There are no disaggregated data on children affected by natural disasters
      • Programs that respond to disasters do not always respond to children’s concerns
    • 25. Children in situations of disaster
      • RECOMMENDATION
      • LGUs should develop community-based disaster risk reduction plans that are sensitive to the concerns of children and consider children’s perspectives
    • 26. Street children
      • Rounding up of children (Pasay, Caloocan, Manila, QC) by MMDA, City Social Welfare and Development Offices (Street Dwellers Care Program, curfew ordinances)
        • Confiscation of money and possessions
        • Forcibly placed in institutions
        • Detained
    • 27. Street children
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • MMDA, CSWDO, DSWD: Stop rounding up children
      • LGUs and DILG: repeal policies, ordinances and guidelines that violate children’s rights
      • LGUs:
        • Establish and strengthen the Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children
        • Collaborate with NGOs in responding to the needs of street children and their families
    • 28. Child participation in governance
      • Weak performance of the Sangguniang Kabataan
        • Low understanding about SK and its role
        • Lack of support from the Barangay Council
        • Lack of understanding of children’s right to participation
    • 29. Child participation in governance
      • RECOMMENDATIONS
      • Strengthen SK partnerships with children and young people’s organizations and establish partnerships with supportive adult organizations
      • Establish standard programmatic system for the monitoring, supervision and technical support to SK
    • 30. Conclusion
      • Philippines has a relatively advanced legal framework for the protection and promotion of children’s rights but
        • there is still inadequate protection
        • there is a glaring gap in implementation
      • Policies that seek to increase economic growth put children at risk
      • Lack of resources for children reflects lack of government commitment
      • There is a need to strengthen understanding of children’s rights
    • 31. Put children at the center of development
      • Children’s best interest should be considered in all matters of public policy.
      • More resources should be allocated for the realization of children’s rights and needs
      • Strengthen the social protection system, esp. the education and health care sectors