Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray, has finally spoken up about the Philippines’ plans to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility. In an interview with TV5’s MJ Marfori the beauty queen announced that she opposed the move by Congress to lower the age to either 12 or 9 years old. A known advocate for education and children’s rights, the question of her stance on this issue has long been burning in the public’s minds.
We should refocus our energy not to lowering the age of criminal responsibility but rather to why are these children commiting these crimes. I worked a lot with children, and anyone knows that children are not disposed to do that kind of act…or to act that way. They commit crimes out of circumstances or external pressures, which should be addressed instead.
How can we do that? We can do that by doing a study or seeing the children and asking them or accessing that community, educating that community – the parents of the children. And I feel that would be a better long-term solution. Because once you label a child such…as a child in conflict with the law, how will you bring them up to see themselves or the community to see them?
Her main thrust was that children should have the chance to ‘dream’. For her, unfairly persecuting children at such a young age robs them of that potential to dream, change, and grow. She adds: “‘Cause children, they have so much potential. And their hearts are so pure. It’s just that sometimes there [are] circumstances that bear down on them or the people or what they are faced with bears down on them.”
Where do you stand on lowering the age of criminal responsibility? Let us know in the comments!