Child rights festival held in Manila amid abuse threats

Awareness drive seeks to advance children's rights as Duterte ratchets up threats against activists
Child rights festival held in Manila amid abuse threats

Children peep behind boxes painted with slogans at the Children's Rights Awareness Festival in Manila on Nov. 26. (Photo supplied) 


November 28, 2017
Activists held a children's rights awareness festival in Manila on Nov. 26 to unite organizations, institutions, and individuals to advance children’s rights and welfare amid reports of abuses.

Organizers of the event said it is "not improbable" that children become victims of violence "with the recent impulsive and militaristic threats" of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte against activists.

The president announced last week that he would go after organizations that are suspected of working with underground communist organizations after peace talks with the rebels collapsed.

"It is important to increase the knowledge of children on basic rights as their basic line of defense against intensifying tyranny and fascism," said Frances Palatino of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center.

The organization noted that children fell victims to the government's total war against illegal drugs that resulted in the killings of suspected drug users and peddlers especially in urban poor communities in Manila.

"The intensifying attack against the rights of Filipino children establishes the necessity to step up efforts that would educate children about their rights and their indispensable role in asserting it," said Palatino.

At least 30 minors — some as young as four years old and two unborn infants — have fallen victim of the government's anti-narcotics war, according to the non-government Children's Rehabilitation Center.

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