United Nations Resolution Presses Member Countries To Focus On Children Without Parental Care For 2020
The adoption of the UN Resolution on the Rights of a Child by the end of 2019 has set the year 2020 off to a good start for child-focused organizations. SOS Children’s Villages has advocated for this year’s resolution to be dedicated to children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care. And now, the UN General Assembly has agreed to shift the spotlight to these children. SOS Children’s Villages Philippines welcomes this milestone as UN member states, including the Philippines, commit to implement policies with the best interests of children in mind.
In the current 18th congress, several bills for the welfare of children are filed and still under review in the House of Representatives and the Senate. House Bill No. 3 and Senate Bill No. 1021 appeal for a special trust fund to be provided to neglected children when they reach the legal age of 18, assuring them support from the State for their continuous growth and development. While HB No. 5581 and SB No. 61 both aim to codify alternative child care laws and provide funds to make alternative care more accessible to children who need it.
Another bill, House Bill No. 137, was recently approved in the House of Representatives last February 17. The bill seeks to impose stiffer penalties for child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination. Children, especially those who are abandoned, neglected or orphaned, would benefit the most when this bill finally becomes a law. Children without parental care are more vulnerable to violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation as protection is limited or even unavailable with no guardian to look after them.
The UN Convention on the Rights of a Child emphasizes the vital role of a family to a child – a family that takes care of them and protects their rights. But if the family is no longer present or able to take care of the child, then Alternative Care must be ensured by the government with the aid of child-caring organizations. As stated by the Convention, “children should grow up in a family environment with an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality.”
“We are continuously lobbying for the implementation of policies that does not only concern our children, but also put a child’s best interests first and foremost. With the UN Resolution in place, we are hopeful to see more bills for the welfare of children be authored and passed into law,” says Ronalyn Briones, Advocacy Officer of SOS Children’s Villages Philippines.
Apart from providing a home and family to children, our work entails to get to the root causes and help government bodies and similar NGOs prevent family breakdown and child neglect usually caused by poverty. We call on everyone – families, communities, and government officials – to work together in taking care of our children and upholding their rights because strong children are our hope of a better world.