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PIA Press Release

Child protection program updated

by JMD Abangan

Davao City (14 November) -- Plans under the Comprehensive Programme on Child Protection (CPCP) have not been mainstreamed in various agencies of the government, prompting the Committee for the Special Protection of Children (SCPC) to update its plan to answer the current situations of children.

Assistant Secretary Teresita Reyes-Domingo, chairperson of the Committee for the Special Protection of Children in a recently held consultation-workshop in Davao City bared that aside from the failure of the CPCP drawn out earlier, "there was also no monitoring system" on child protection.

The SCPC was created in 1995 to monitor the enforcement of Republic Act 7610, "An Act Providing Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination."

Headed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Committee has been tasked to initiate and coordinate the preparation of CPCP, whose first programme document was issued in 2001.

"We have decided to update the document," she said. "We are here to get your inputs, comments, suggestions and observations to help us finalize a meaningful, doable, and practical protection programme for children," she said.

A draft of the revised Comprehensive Programme on Child Protection for the period 2006 to 2010 was presented during the Mindanao Cluster Workshop attended mostly by representatives of the member agencies to the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC).

Writer and consultant, Leopoldo M. Moselina of the Foundation fro Grassroots Studies and Social Actions, Inc. said the revised CPCP aims to "create a caring and protective environment for children."

It anchors with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, National Plan of Action for Children, and the Millennium Development Goals.

It bears out the current situation of children in a situation analysis on child protection and integrates monitoring and evaluation system.

The revised CPCP looks into present child protection issues particularly on child labor, child in armed conflict, children in conflict with the law, street children, child trafficking, sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation, children and substance abuse, children with conditions of disability, and children belonging to minorities and indigenous peoples.

Moselina pointed out that "a protective and caring environment for children must be the concern of all sectors at various levels of society" and that everyone must get involved in responding to challenges critical to child protection.

Critical actions set forth under the revised CPCP include strengthening of government commitment and capacity to fulfill children's rights to protection; facilitating and enforcement of child protection laws; challenging and changing attitudes, customs and practices that lead to abuse, exploitation and violence against children; promoting open discussion of and engagement in child abuse, exploitation and violence in mass media and among civil society partners.

There is also a need to equip children with knowledge, life skills and capacity for meaningful and effective participation; building capacities of parents, teachers, religious leaders, social and health workers, law enforcers, prosecutors, judges, among others to recognize and respond to abuse, exploitation and violence; making available without discrimination, basic and preventive social services as well as specialized interventions in rescue, recovery, healing and reintegration of child victims; and establishing effective monitoring, reporting and coordination mechanisms.

The revised document is expected to result in positively responding to these critical areas of concerns. (PIA XI) [top]

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