A statement from Stop Child Rights Exploitation and Abuse in Media! (SCREAM}
“The best gift we can give to the Filipino child is a solid sense of self-worth. Not coincidentally, this is also what our country needs today.” That was the opening statement of Dr. Honey Carandang at the Commission of Human Rights, where she discussed all forms of child abuse. How many of us really understand what child abuse is or for that matter child protection laws?
Let us take a peek to instances of children as victims of abuse and violence:
1. In many television shows, Dr. Carandang added that very little dignity of respect is shown for the child perhaps because of the myth na “bata lang iyan” which she says is a complete fallacy. “A child’s dignity and respect must never be violated, it becomes worse when he or she is rewarded after being ridiculed or shamed. What message are we delivering to the child, more so to the audience?”
2. How often have we seen our child cry because she/he was bullied at school and we thought we could do nothing about it? When a child is caught in a tussle when their parents are hitting each other, who will speak for this child? A child can be silently suffering from domestic abuse, bullying and corporal punishment.
3. For most of us in urban areas, are we aware that children continue to be subjected to widespread abuse and violence under Oplan Bantay Laya? The Armed Forces of the Philippines ( AFP ) units have been recruiting minors into their paramilitary units, forcing children to serve as guides in military operations.”
Do we really know how many Filipino school children have become victims of violence?
The answer: “7 out of 10 public school children in Grades 4-6 and high school, and 4 out of 10 public school children in Grades 1 to 3”, according to the study, Towards A Child-Friendly Education Environment: A Baseline Study on Violence Against Children in Public Schools. Forms of violence are either sexual, verbal or physical.
While the violence are not too obvious in schools, other forms of violence against Filipino children are committed “through physical and psychological abuse/deprivation that manifest in the worst forms of child labor, child prostitution, begging in the streets, abandonment, trafficking and /or recruitment as soldiers or couriers in areas of armed conflict.”
Who will speak for these children? The children cannot speak out for themselves. While hundreds are striving to shed light on violations of children’s rights, there is a great personal cost to themselves and their families. Children rights advocates rely on the freedom to speak out.
Join the Blog and Twitter Carnival
It will help if we can first raise awareness among ourselves. Speak out about child abuse issues. Raise child abuse awareness by tweeting with hashtag #childPH or writing in your blogs be it a self-hosted blog, blogger, wordpress, tumblr or facebook note. All of your posts will be placed together in a blog post called a “carnival”. A Blog Carnival is, at its heart, a themed collection of permalinks to other blog posts.
Here is how
1. The blog entry can be a personal experience, a commentary, proposals to raise awareness on child protection laws. If you do not have a blog, you can also post here at blogwatch.tv Just register at http://blogwatch.tv/wp-register.php
2. Once your blog entry is posted , submit the link to the Blog carnival.
Tweet a quote, opinion or statement about Child abuse prevention and awareness in the Philippines with a hashtag #childPH anytime from April 21 till 28th. You can send as many tweets as you can so this will be curated.
Here are some references you can start with:
I believe our children are the country’s most valuable resource, and they need our support to thrive and grow into healthy, productive adults. President Noynoy Aquino has yet to establish a clear agenda pertaining to Filipino children’s welfare.
Let us hope our president will be inspired with President Obama when the latter proclaimed April as the National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Every child deserves a nurturing family and a safe environment, free from fear, abuse, and neglect. Parents, guardians, relatives, and neighbors all share a responsibility to prevent these devastating crimes, and our government plays a critical role as well.
Please speak for our children.