Uphold rights of children facing discrimination, social exclusion

MANILA A group advocating children's rights and welfare has called for the protection of children, who are facing discrimination and social exclusion due to poverty and gender identity, in observance of the World Children's Day on Wednesday.

The Save the Children Philippines (SCP) reported that children with disabilities, as well as teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and young teens diagnosed with HIV, continue to face discrimination in schools and communities.

Rights are denied to children based on many intersecting factors, including economic situation, their gender, their ethnicity or disability, SCP chief executive officer Albert Muyot said in a statement.

To date, the group implements programs to push for rights of children with disabilities to have access to regular classes through partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

Its Global Fund HIV/AIDS project also helps provide vulnerable people to get HIV tests and treatment in 38 high prevalence sites in nine regions in the country, targeting teenagers aged 14 to 19 years old.

In his statement, Muyot also expressed support for the enactment of the Inclusive Education bill which would provide for the implementation of concrete programs and allocate budget to support education of children with disabilities especially those from deprived families and children living in remote provinces.

Citing government figures, SCP said there are an estimated 1.3 million children with disabilities in the Philippines and most of them do not have access to education due to poverty.

We call on our partners in the government to use full extent of authority and resources to fulfill children's rights to be healthy, educated and protected from all forms of violence in all settings, Muyot said.

November 20 marks World Children's Day and the 30th year of ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Save the Children founder Eglantyne Jebb wrote the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1923 and was adopted by the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations.

The document became the basis of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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