As reports of abuses against children come to light every day, we are, more than ever, called on to act against people and practices that inflict harm upon these young ones who have little opportunity to protect themselves. And as we observe National Children’s Month, which is observed every October, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has appealed to local governments to create and support a “child-friendly society” geared toward the realization of the needs and wants of children and to engage different sectors in programs that advocate “holistic and sustainable strategies to promote and protect [a] child’s rights.”
With this year’s theme being “Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) para sa Bright Child: Pakilusin, Palakasin, Pagtulungan Natin!,” the celebration, according to an article in The Philippine Star, is a reminder to everyone that “children have a basic right to participate in all undertakings that concern them.” The same article also states that October is a time to go over measures enforced to “fight child abuse in all its forms.”
In the Philippines, despite the presence of laws such as Republic Act 7610, or the act providing for deterrence and protection against child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination, numerous children still become victims of abuse in the forms of child labor, human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault or trafficking, and more. Reports of abduction are also common, and these aren’t just because of syndicates and other lawless elements. Some of these have been perpetrated by the children's parents or relatives themselves.
The annual observance of National Children’s Month acknowledges the fundamental role of children in nation-building, a role that is even mentioned in the Philippine Constitution. In fact, according to Section 13, Article II of the Philippine Constitution, “The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.”
According to an editorial in The Philippine Star, the Philippines, being a participant of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, must uphold the “four specific provisions on children’s participation” as agreed upon in the convention, namely Articles 12 to 15. Based on these provisions, children have the right to freedom of expression and of thought, conscience, and religion as well as the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, among other things.
Now on its 19th year, the annual celebration, observed in agreement with the United Nations’ declaration of October as Universal Children’s Month, showcases several events or activities, such as art contests, photo exhibits, film showing, children’s fairs, slogan-making contests, library services, medical missions, camping, and seminars.
For tips on raising your kids to be healthy, hard-working, happy individuals, check out these FN articles:
- Raising Winners: 5 Tips to Help You Hone Your Children's Potential
- 10 Skills Your Kids Aren’t Learning in School and How You Can Teach These to Them
- Game On: 5 Tips on Raising a Child Who Grows up to Be a Winner
- 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be an Overprotective Parent
(Photo by jepoycamboy via Flickr Creative Commons)