21 July 2014
Addressing the Needs of Children in Armed Conflict through EO 138:
CWC leads Ceremonial MOA Signing
Republic Act. No. 7610, also known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” declares children as Zones of Peace, and such, they shall not be recruited to become members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or its civilian units or other armed groups, nor be allowed to take part in the fighting, or used as guides, couriers or spies.
For the last three years (2011-2013) a total 229 cases of children victims of armed conflict was served by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). In February 2014, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and international dailies Sky News Australia and New Strait Times reported three child soldiers were among the 53 people killed in a week fighting between the Philippine Army and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Executive Order 138 S.2013 “Amending Executive Order (EO) No. 56 (S.2001) Adopting the Comprehensive Program Framework for Children in Armed Conflict, Strengthening the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and for Other Purposes” was signed and approved by Pres. Aquino last August 2, 2013.
The Comprehensive Program Framework for Children in Armed Conflict (CIAC Program Framework) addresses the alarming involvement of children in armed conflict, either as combatants, couriers, guides, spies, medics, cooks or their recruitment for sexual purposes or in any similar, non-combatant capacity and directs national government agencies and Local Government Units (LGUs) to implement the same.
The CWC as the focal inter-agency body of the Philippine Government for children coordinates and spearhead the organization of a Monitoring, Reporting and Response System inter-agency Team (MRRS) composed of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) among others, to respond to concerns of children in situations of armed conflict specifically to the grave child rights violations such as killing and maiming, recruitment and use of children, attacks on schools and hospitals or health facilities, abduction of children, rape and other gender-based violence and denial of humanitarian access.
Relative to the Implementation of the Children Involved in Armed Conflict (CIAC) Program Framework, the functions of Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as lead agency in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the CIAC Program Framework, as enhanced and approved by the CWC Board, are hereby transferred to the CWC.
An Inter-Agency Committee on Children in Armed Conflict (IAC-CIAC), constituted by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement signed in April 2007 was formally established chaired by the CWC. Member agencies are the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), DILG, DOH, Department of National Defense - AFP, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), PNP, Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and OPAPP. The IAC-CIAC is also known as the Monitoring, Reporting and Response Team on Grave Child Rights Violations (MRRS-GCRV Team)
A ceremonial MOA signing on Executive Order 138 led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman of DSWD , Secretary Leila De Lima of DOJ, Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, OPAPP, Undersecretary Albert Muyot of DepEd is scheduled on 25 July 2014 (Friday), 10:00 AM- 1:00PM at the Social Hall, 4/F Mabini Building, Malacanang Palace, Manila. The objective is to be able to gain support from other stakeholders to officially commit to fulfil their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the EO 138 in order to operationalize the Monitoring, Reporting and Response System (MRRS) on Grave Child Rights Violations (GCRVs).
For further inquiries, please contact:
Mr. Elino L. Bardillon/ Ms. Aiza A. Cabrera
Telephone No.781-1039 local 1006/2005