Save the Children Philippines welcomes the new guidelines of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that orders barangay leaders and law enforcement officers to treat children who violated curfew regulations under the community quarantine humanely and with dignity.
This comes after the numerous call outs of Save the Children Philippines for the government to address the issue of rising cases of violence against children during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
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The guidelines will apply to children in street situations, those in conflict with the law, and children at risks or those abandoned and vulnerable to physical, sexual, and economic exploitation. The new rules issued on June 23, 2020 were based on the provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act or Republic Act 9344, as amended by RA 10630.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines, said the COVID-19 pandemic is already taking a toll on children’s lives as they missed out on classes, and their mobility was curtailed thus, preventing them to go out of homes and interact with others, causing them psychosocial distress.
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Save the Children Philippines strongly denounces harsh and inhumane treatment against children such as those reportedly placed in coffins, dog cages, and stripped naked after being apprehended by law enforcers during the ECQ.
“We commit to monitor the enforcement of these new guidelines to ensure that the basic right of children to be protected is fulfilled and respected,” said Muyot.
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