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Philippine News Digest 72

March 20, 2004 · 

Contents:
-Abuse of children an international phenomenon

-US maintains huge military presence in Asia and the Pacific

-75 Filipinos die of tuberculosis everyday

Abuse of children an international phenomenon

A report prepared by Defense for Children International-The Netherlands revealed that countries that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are not able to implement its provisions with respect to minors in conflict with the law and children in prison remain low on these countries’ social and political agenda. According to global estimates, there are at least one million children deprived of their liberty worldwide. The proportion of juveniles in prison varies per country from 0.5 to 30% of the total prison population, most are between 14 and 18 years of age. The vast majority committed by these juveniles concern threats to the property of others and thus fall under the category of minor offences. Abuses in police cells, institutions, prisons and other facilities are a reality in most countries, according to the report. Source: “Kids Behind Bars” by Defense for Children International- The Netherlands. (For a copy of the executive summary of the report, contact predainfo@preda.org)
US maintains huge military presence in Asia and the Pacific

The United States has shifted its focus from Europe to Asia ever since the USSR collapsed and China emerged as a new economic rival and the region grew in prominence in terms of trade and investment. At present, the US deploys 100,000 troops in the Asia-Pacific region, majority of which are based in Japan and South Korea where the US has military bases. In addition to the bases, the US maintains five of its seven mutual defense treaties in the Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines. The presence of US military bases and troops has been linked to the rise of the prostitution industry and violations of human rights, according to Equality Now. Source: Ibon Facts and Figures.

75 Filipinos die of tuberculosis everyday

Someone in the world dies of tuberculosis everyday while 14 people in the Western Pacific region get infected with the ailment every 14 seconds, the burden falling mostly on developing nations like the Philippines, according to the World Health Organization. In the Philippines, 75 Filipinos die of TB everyday making it the sixth leading cause of mortality. The country ranked eight among 22 countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis. The World Health Organization, however, noted that the Tb situation in the Philippnes is improving as 164 patients get treatment everyday, or around 60,000 of the 65,000 new cases in 2002. Source: Blanche S. Rivera, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 25 March 2004.

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