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Philippine News Digest 138

May 23, 2007 · 

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Week: May 19-23, 2008

Contents:

  • US: Respect Rights of Child Detainees in Iraq
  • Child labor cases uncovered in China
  • 3 daughters sue pastor-dad for sex abuse

US: Respect Rights of Child Detainees in Iraq
Children in US Custody Held Without Due Process
(Geneva, May 21, 2008)

– US forces in Iraq should ensure that children it takes into custody are treated according to their status as children, and given prompt judicial review and access to independent monitors, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 22, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will meet in Geneva to review US compliance with the international treaty banning the use of child soldiers, which requires states to help with the recovery and reintegration of such children under their control.

US military authorities, operating as the Multinational Forces in Iraq, were as of May 12, 2008 holding 513 Iraqi children as “imperative threats to security,” and have transferred an unknown number of other children to Iraqi custody. According to a recent report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), children in Iraqi custody are at risk of physical abuse.

Child labor cases uncovered in China
By David Barboza
Published: April 30, 2008

SHANGHAI: China said Wednesday that it was investigating whether hundreds or perhaps thousands of children from poor areas in the southwest part of the country had been sold to work as slave laborers in booming coastal factory cities.

Authorities in southern Guangdong Province, near Hong Kong, said they had already rescued more than 100 children from factories in Dongguan, a huge manufacturing city known for producing and exporting toys, textiles and electronics.

The children, mostly 13 to 15 years old, were often tricked or kidnapped by employment agencies working in an impoverished part of western Sichuan Province, and then sent to factory towns in Guangdong, where they were often forced to work as much as 300 hours a month for little money, according to government officials and accounts from the state-owned media.

The authorities in southern China said Wednesday that they had arrested several people involved in the case and that they were trying to determine the identities of the children.

3 daughters sue pastor-dad for sex abuse
By Carla Gomez
Visayas Bureau
First Posted 16:17:00 04/17/2008

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Three daughters of a religious sect pastor in Ilog, Negros Occidental, had their father arrested for allegedly sexually abusing them.

Senior Inspector Gabriel Gutierrez, Ilog police chief, said on Thursday the 45-year-old pastor of the religious sect was turned over to them by a policeman and the chairman of the village where the family lived, after the scandal broke out Monday.

Gutierrez said the eldest of the three daughters, now 22, said she was sexually abused by her father, on November 3, 1993, when she was only eight years old.

Gutierrez said the two other daughters of the pastor, 18 and 14 years old, also claimed to have been raped by their father on April 8 and 17, 2007, respectively.

The pastor volunteered to stay at the Ilog Police Station, pending the filing of rape charges against him, for fear of being harmed by members of the family of his wife. He, however, denied having abused his daughters.

Gutierrez, however, told reporters that the pastor admitted having mauled his 18-year-old daughter who left their home in June 2007 without permission, and returned December 29, with her live-in partner.

Police investigations showed the 18-year-old, who was allegedly molested twice by her father, fled to escape the molestations.

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