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Save The Children PH Supports Global Call To End Physical And Humiliating Punishment Of Children

Gone are the days when discipline meant resorting to physical and verbal harm. Our generation may have been toughened by our parents’ disciplinary methods, but today’s generation is different.

Sadly, it’s disheartening to learn that approximately 42 million Filipino children lack comprehensive legal protection against various forms of violence, especially within their homes’ supposed sanctity. Shockingly, the Philippines stands alongside 134 other countries that still lack legislation to combat physical and humiliating punishment inflicted upon children.

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Photo: Save The Children PH

Let’s take Dahlia (not her real name) from Parañaque as an example. Her haunting experiences paint a grim reality. Her mother would burn her arm with a mosquito coil for incomplete household chores, causing excruciating pain. Walking past her mother’s market stall, she would overhear hurtful gossip about herself, labeled as a “prostitute” for returning home late. Eventually, Dahlia ran away when her stepfather violently attacked her for playing her radio too loudly. Seeking temporary refuge with friends, she found herself pregnant at the age of 16, unprepared for the challenges of motherhood.

Regrettably, Dahlia’s case is just one among countless children in our country whose lives have spiraled downward due to the individuals entrusted with their protection. In such dire circumstances, it falls upon the government to ensure the safety and security of the most vulnerable members of our society—the children. Yet, the Philippines still lacks a policy specifically aimed at safeguarding children from physical and humiliating punishment, despite it being an agreed target among member nations as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of 2015.

“We join the chorus of children seeking protection from punitive measures that inflict pain, humiliation, and degradation upon them. We earnestly urge our legislators to pass ‘The Positive Parenting of Children’s Act’ (Senate Bill 2036),” appealed Atty. Alberto Muyot, CEO of Save the Children Philippines.

Senate Bill 2036, championed by the honorable Senator Risa Hontiveros, aims to assist Filipino parents in adopting parenting techniques that promote healthy child development and effective nurturing. By implementing this approach, we can ensure that children’s rights are respected, particularly their right to a life free from violence— physical, humiliating, or degrading punishment.

SCP Parenting Photo 2

Photo: Save The Children PH

Save the Children highlights the alarming statistic that only one in seven children worldwide is protected by laws specifically targeting physical and humiliating punishment, which sadly remains the most prevalent form of violence against children.

Children often endure physical and humiliating punishment from their parents, teachers, and caregivers. Tragically, thousands of children lose their lives each year as a result of violence within their homes, schools, and other environments, with countless more suffering severe injuries.

It is crucial to acknowledge that many forms of violence inflicted upon children would be considered torture if perpetrated against adults. Such maltreatment can involve smacking and encompass kicking, shaking, burning, and subjecting children to uncomfortable positions. Additionally, it encompasses humiliating treatment that diminishes the child’s self-worth.

Stand with Save the Children Philippines in their tireless advocacy for children’s rights! To explore potential partnership opportunities, kindly email supportercare@savethechildren.org. Together, we can make a difference and create a safer, more nurturing world for our children.