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PIA Press Release

Judges, court personnel undergo competency enhancement training

For better handling of child abuse and trafficking cases

Tacloban City (October 8) -- Judges from Eastern Samar, Samar, Northern Samar, Leyte and Cebu are the participants in the ongoing 3-day competency enhancement training for judges and court personnel in handling child abuses and trafficking cases, at the Leyte Park Hotel in Tacloban City.

The activity which started on October 6 was made into reality through the Plan International, Inc. in partnership with the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Philippine Judicial Academy and Child Protection Unit Network.

Mr. Totch Dela Cruz, Plan International Inc. Technical Support Supervisor, informed that invited speakers are judicial luminaries like Retired Associate Justices Adolfo S. Azcuna, Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis, Family Court Justice Nimfa Vilches, and Atty. Katrina Legarda, among others.

Among the topics during the training are child and gender-insensitive court atmosphere; the rule on examination of a child witness; communicating with a child witness; badgering of a child witness; prosecuting child abuse; and child abuse sensitivity inventory.

In the 23 municipalities covered by Plan in the Visayas, there are about 576 children and young adult victims of trafficking and nearly 4,000 potential victims were recorded from 2005 to 2008.

Most of these victims are school drop outs who are tempted by recruiter's promises for a better life condition but unfortunately landed in prostitution and forced labour. Only 46 cases have been filed in courts and 22% of these have been settled amicably.

Thus the training aims to enhance the capacities of courts in handling child abuse cases as a continuing support of Plan to the judiciary system.

Anchored on the principles of Child rights under the United Nations convention on the Rights of the Child, Plan International Inc hopes to strengthen its Child Protection Program by capacitating stakeholders and duty bearers for them to effectively and efficiently exercise their responsibilities. (PIA 8) [top]

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