Editorial: Children in the line of fire

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Monday, February 24, 2014


SO, one of the seven killed in the raid of the alleged shabu tiangge in barangay Ilang, Tibungco district, last Friday was a 14-year-old boy.

It’s both sad and worrying.

Sad that a boy’s life was snuffed out just like that, worrying because we know that it’s unlikely that he was the only one who has been exposed to such an environment.

The thought that a child was killed under such circumstances raises mixed emotions. There is the desire to rile against authorities for not looking any closer and being more precise with their targets. More importantly, there is the nagging reality that in the world of crime, childhood has never been regarded a stage of security and protection from the adults. In fact, in many cases, childhood has been looked at as an advantage for the criminals who use a child’s fleetness of feet and smallness of size as a cloak against detection and suspicion.

Just recently, we have been made aware that cyber pornography using children below 11 years old already exists in our midst.

As a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is greater need for authorities to put in place this basic protection, especially now when criminal elements see children as tools of the trade.

It’s no longer enough to ensure that parents are capable of caring for their children; the psyche have become so warped, now it needs the added force of authorities to ensure that children are accorded their rights and live to enjoy them.

As it is, the sight of a dead boy amid a drug raid is proof enough that at least one child has been deprived of his right to life, to be raised well, to live in a family who teaches good morals, to proper care, to be protected, to live peacefully away from bad influences, and most of all, to grow up peacefully and get what he wants for the good of his life. As it is, he is already dead.

That he is dead and that there are several children led into cybersex should be warning bells that something is going wrong in our communities, we all have to step in to set these to right. But this can only happen if we move as a community concerned for the welfare of all children. We can no longer stall and simply blame the parents. Something has already been breached, possibly the sense of decency or simply the care for children, and in instances like these there is little time to repair what has already been destroyed. Let’s not waste it by finding someone to blame.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 25, 2014.

Opinion

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