Child Rights Organizations Call For The Protection Of All Filipino Children During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Elimination of Violence Against Children - Philippines
Child rights organizations call for the protection of all Filipino children
during the COVID-19 pandemic
We are facing an unprecedented global public health crisis. While
children’s health appears to be less directly affected by COVID-19, it must be
recognized that the outbreak will deeply affect the environment where children
grow and develop.
“The crisis we are in requires cooperation from all stakeholders
including civil society organizations and networks like us. Sadly,
what is often overlooked is the impact this situation will have on children,
especially those who are most deprived and marginalized,” said Rowena Cordero,
Joining Forces Alliance Convenor.
“In situations like this, children’s safety, protection, and well-being
may be put at risk, and their rights may be violated and compromised,” Cordero
Actions to prevent the spread of the pandemic have been stern — with
entire communities on lockdown, economic activities limited, and schools
closed. In the Philippines alone, a total of 22,558,138 or 100% of learners are already affected due to suspension
of classes, the Department of Education reported.
Parents and caregivers of these children are also affected due to
disruption of their economic activities. In 2018, the Department of Labor and
Employment estimated that more than 15
million parents and guardiansare
reliant on the informal economy.
Such economic stress and education disruption could significantly increase cases of child labor, sexual exploitation, and
violence against children.
In solidarity with child rights advocates in the Philippines, the Joining
Forces Alliancecalls the attention
of the public, the national and local government, frontliners, civil society,
communities, parents and guardians to recognize and respond to the needs of
Measures to prevent and respond to
incidents of violence and to protect every Filipino child must be included in
all COVID-19 plans of action, both at the national and local levels:
?Protection and social welfare services should
have adequate funding support.
?Special attention must be given to
communities placed under quarantine. This should include disaggregated data
(age, sex, disability) and monitoring of children at increased risk of
violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.
?At the local level, barangays and
municipalities should ensure that the Barangay Child Protection Committee
(BCPC), Gender Desks, Sexual Harassment Desks, and Violence Against Women and
Children (VAWC) Desks are functional.
?National and local authorities must also
ensure that planning and decision-making processes include voices of the
children themselves, ensuring that their perspectives are heard and their needs
“Equally important is to consider and listen to children’s perspectives
throughout the response process to ensure that our approaches are relevant and
responsive to their needs,” said Cordero.
Girls and young women, as well as boys and
young men, can play important roles in local leadership, such as in community
child protection and social welfare initiatives.
The Joining Forces Alliance supports the efforts of the national and
local government in containing the spread of COVID-19. Community quarantine and
isolation are very important steps to limit the spread of the virus and in
flattening the curve. The Joining Forces Alliance dedicates its resources and
efforts to provide additional support to the national government’s response to
COVID-19, especially in ensuring that
every Filipino child is protected from all forms of violence during this
the Joining Forces Alliance
The Joining Forces Alliance on the
Elimination of Violence Against Children is a global alliance of child-focused
international non-government organizations advocating for a renewed commitment
of governments to achieve the rights of children. We are composed of ChildFund
Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, Terre
des Hommes International Federation, World Vision, and Educo. Together, we have
agreed to deliver a greater impact in addressing the issues of online child sexual
exploitation, physical and humiliating punishment of children, and the rights
of children in the justice system in the Philippines.
Alyza Joy V. Narvaez
Communications Specialist - Media
Relations, Plan International Philippines