Next leaders dared to improve children’s lives-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
MORE than 100 children and child rights advocates went to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros, Manila last week to let the aspiring political leaders feel the sentiments of children.
A non-government organization (NGO) spearheaded the campaign "Bata Muna: Bomoto para sa Kapakanan ng Kabataan" to emphasize that children's status and rights must be the priority of the next political leaders in the country.
Save the Children, an NGO, together with Samahan ng Mamamayan–Zone One Tondo Organization (Zoto) and children’s organizations lead the Children Talk to Talk (C2C) about the UN Convention on the Rights of Children Project.
“Bata Muna” campaign is now joined by 22 other organizations around the country.
In Iloilo City, the Bata Muna campaign is joined by several NGOs and government offices working for the rights of children to be heard.
According to Save the Children, the “Bata Muna” campaign wants political leaders who will stand up for children’s rights, voters to demand for political accountability on children’s rights, make children’s issues visible during the campaign time, and ultimately influence voters to consider children when voting.
The campaign also calls for a stricter implementation of the law against child trafficking under the recently enacted Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012. Figures from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reveal that from January 2003 to September 2012, 23 percent of the trafficked victims in the Philippines are children, of which 85 percent are girls.
The factors that contribute to child trafficking in the Philippines are poverty, low economic development in the communities of origin, lack of education and skills for better economic options, limited employment opportunities, inadequate awareness among families, and gender inequalities.
Despite laws and policies that are already in place, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) states that children and women remain to be two of the poorest basic sectors of Philippine society with a poverty incidence of 34.8 percent and 25.1 percent, respectively.