Child Rights Organizations Call For The Prevention Of Physical And Humiliating Punishment Against Children During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Physical and psychological violence,
particularly at home, are among the most pervasive types of abuse experienced
by Filipino children. Both can be worsened by the COVID-19 enhanced community
in 5 children have experienced some form of physical violence, the 2016 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children revealed. Sixty percent of these cases
happened in their own homes, with 1 in 2 children experiencing corporal
disturbing figure can exponentially increase, especially now that parents and
caregivers are experiencing added stress,” said Rowena Cordero, Joining Forces
Alliance Convenor and Save the Children Philippines Chief of Programs.
“Children should be protected from experiencing violence at home. And parents
need to be supported in coping with stress and in ensuring that parenting
practices respect and uphold children’s rights.”
the quarantine measures imposed by the government help in controlling the
spread of COVID-19, it may also unintentionally expose children to increased
economic, health, and security problems resulting from the pandemic may take
its toll on the mental health of parents and caregivers. Hence, they may be
unable to effectively manage their stress and frustration. As a result, these
adults may resort to using physical, humiliating, and degrading punishment on
prevent this from happening, we urge the government to:
- Ensure timely delivery of social protection
and amelioration programs.
- Establish accountability and feedback
mechanisms for families and children.
- Provide mental health and psychosocial support
for parents and caregivers, through online platforms or hotlines, in
coordination with private groups.
- Set up hotlines and online platforms where
children and the public can send complaints about child abuse cases.
- Regularly assess child protection risks
throughout the COVID-19 response, including disaggregated data of children
based on age, sex, and disability.
- Closely monitor children at increased risk of
violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.
particular, we call on the Department of Social Welfare and Development to:
- Activate child protection programs and
response and referral mechanisms.
- Ensure that protection and social welfare
services are adequately funded and are central throughout all the stages of the
also urge all local governments to:
- Set up child-friendly hotlines for reporting
and psychosocial counseling.
- Ensure compliance with the DILG Advisory (2
April 2020) on the activation of the Barangay Violence Against Women (VAW) Desk
and the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) during the
Enhanced Community Quarantine.
- Disseminate information by dovetailing
informative leaflets in relief distribution i.e., stress management, how to report child abuse, among others.
“The rights of children to be protected from all forms of physical,
humiliating, and degrading punishment in all settings should be everyone’s
concern, especially of the government,” said Cordero. “As much as we don’t
want children to be exposed to COVID-19, we also don’t want them to be
vulnerable to any form of violence.”
About the Joining Forces Alliance
The Joining Forces
Alliance on the Elimination of Violence Against Children is a global alliance
of child-focused international non-governmental organizations. We are
advocating for a renewed commitment of governments to achieve the rights of
children. We are composed of ChildFund Alliance, Educo, Plan International,
Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, Terre
des Hommes International Federation, and World Vision.