Preda Deutsch Website

Philippine News Digest 53

April 2, 2003 · 



  • Children find inspiration in survivor’s success
  • Maltreatment of young offenders rampant in RP
  • UN report urges removal of paramilitary groups from indigenous areas

Children find inspiration in survivor’s success

Eight children sheltered in the PREDA Children’s Home graduated from elementary and high school at the end of the school year 2003. Those graduating include Pia, an active children’s rights activist, who testified in open court in Germany in 1998 leading to the conviction of her German abuser Thomas Breur. Another child advocate, Gemma, is graduating too. She is a good public speaker and wants to work for abused children. She has been selected for the PREDA Youth Advocacy Theater Tour this year and will tour Germany and Switzerland in May to June to present a musical drama about the trafficking of children. Together with the other graduates, they serve as inspiration to the rest of the children in the center.

Maltreatment of young offenders rampant in RP

Amnesty International expressed shock on the treatment received by children in conflict with the law in the Philippines, specifically on the “huge discrepancy between the youth justice system and that exercised in practice.” Many children are handcuffed upon arrest, put in cells for adult criminals and received prison sentences meant for adults. Though not allowed by law, many children suffer the death penalty for not being able to prove their minority. The Philippines was one of the first countries in Asia to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 and to pass national executive orders and laws which provide for the welfare and protection of children. However, the key provisions in these orders and laws are regularly violated. PREDA Foundation documented these violations after visiting several jails in the Luzon region and talking to the children in jails, social workers, lawyers from the Public Attorney’s, prosecutors and judges. By March 2003, the PREDA Jail Rescue and Monitor team has found 131 minors, 35 of whom have already been released through the team’s intervention.

UN report urges removal of paramilitary groups from indigenous areas

A report by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights has called for the demilitarization of indigenous communities in the Philippines because of alleged human rights abuses caused by paramilitary groups. Rodolfo Staven, UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous People’s Concerns, should be within the framework of a national program to demilitarize these communities. Staven visited the Philippines in 2002 where he met with government officials, indigenous groups and UN agencies. He said he was concerned with reports of serious human rights violations involving indigenous people which include attacks on the physical integrity and security of indigenous persons, dispossession and destruction of property, forced evacuation and relocation, threats and harassments, disruption of the cultural life of the community among others. Source: Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 April 2003.


Copyright © 2017 · Preda Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved