Small but Mighty: HLAF Upholding the Rights of Children

Children are undoubtedly one of the most vulnerable members of society, but they possess an incredible power within them that should never be overlooked. Their voices may be small, but they are mighty, and it is our duty as a society to recognize, promote, and protect their rights.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international treaty that outlines the fundamental rights of children worldwide. It stands as a testament to the global consensus on the crucial importance of safeguarding and protecting the rights of children.

The Philippines is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

In the Philippines, the UNCRC holds significant importance as it provides a framework for ensuring the well-being and protection of children. The Philippine government has recognized and ratified the UNCRC, demonstrating its commitment to upholding the rights of children within its jurisdiction.

The UNCRC emphasizes several key principles, including the best interests of the child, non-discrimination, and respect for the views of children. These principles are vital in ensuring that children in the Philippines, regardless of their background or circumstances, are given equal opportunities to thrive and develop to their full potential.

Non-government organizations such as the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (HLAF) forward the rights of children, especially those in conflict with the law and those at risk through its Center for Restorative Action program by capacitating and empowering duty-bearers, government officials, community leaders and members about different topics such as the proper implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (RA 9344) among others.

HLAF believes that by investing in training, education, and support for different stakeholders involved, the potential for better outcomes for children in conflict with the law and those at risk increases, leading to a more just and inclusive juvenile justice system.

HLAF, moreover believes that capacitating duty bearers helps promote consistency in the application of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act. When all those involved in the justice system have a clear understanding of the law, its objectives, and its procedures, it reduces the risk of inconsistencies and arbitrary decisions thus promoting the best interest of children.

We can all agree that children are the future of society. By safeguarding their rights and ensuring their well-being, we are investing in the next generation of citizens, leaders, and innovators. When children are given opportunities for education, protection, and participation, they are more likely to grow into empowered individuals who can contribute positively to their communities and help shape a better future for all.

Secondly, children, like all individuals, have inherent rights and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. HLAF is a firm believer that every child should have access to a safe and nurturing environment, education, healthcare, and opportunities that enable their holistic development and enable them to reach their full potential.

By ensuring the rights, welfare, and well-being of children in conflict with the law and those at risk, providing opportunities, support, and inclusive environments, we enable them to become active contributors to society, driving positive change and shaping a prosperous future for the Philippines.


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