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Re CRN No. 475.

“AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE SPECIAL


PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IN SITUATIONS OF ARMED
CONFLICT AND PROVIDING
PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF”

1. Section 7 provides of rights of children in situations of armed conflict.


Paragraph f states that children have the right to be protected from extra-
judicial killings, maiming, torture, abduction, and rape.

Question. May we consider including a definition of extra-judicial


killings in this bill, at the minimum, that which targets children?

Discussion. There is no existing national law specific to


“extrajudicial killings” and this is an opportunity to bring to
domestic translation treaty commitments of the Philippines in
regard to the right to life.

Proposed definition. Extrajudicial killing of children shall mean all


acts and omissions of State actors that constitute violation of the general
recognition of the right to life embodied in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and similar other human
rights treaties to which the Philippines is State Party.

2. This same provision and paragraph references protection against rape,


does this encompass all types of gender-based violence and
discrimination against girls and boys to emphasize that

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universe of sexual assault impacts all children regardless of
gender?

Discussion. UNICEF has verified 3 cases of rape involving


girls as young as 14 years of age.1 The same report cites 5
incidents of abduction including that of a boy and this data can
only mean that children are placed in the most vulnerable
circumstance of sexual and physical assault if not death itself.
The law therefore must ascertain that there are clear
safeguards to reduce the risks of its rightsholders especially
that this singe paragraph involves 2 of the 6 grave child rights
violations.

3. Section 7 paragraph o stipulates non-discrimination which


is the over-arching principle of applicability of rights and
fundamental freedoms.

Question. May we consider clearly articulating the various


strands covered by the principle of non-discrimination?

Discussion. Citing non-discrimination is not sufficient. Since children


affected by armed conflict usually belong to indigenous communities or
are themselves indigenous peoples, it is imperative to clearly state that
rights shall be respected regardless of gender, religion, and ethnicity.

1
See Philippiness country profile at <https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/where-we-work/other-
countries/philippines/>, visited on 26 September 2018.

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4. Section 25 creates the Inter-agency Committee on the Situation of
Children in Armed Conflict or the IAC-CSAC. The Committee under this
bill will be Chaired by the Council for the Welfare of Children or CWC
which is attached to the DSWD.

Question. This bill covers a wide gamut or rights under international


human rights law and national legal standards, may instead consider to
designate CWC as Committee Secretariat, and delegate to the DOJ and
DSWD to co-Chair the committee?

Discussion. CWC is a policy development agency with no regional


presence and relying mostly on municipal social workers and local social
protection council for monitoring and report. It will be more prudent to
designate the DOJ and the DSWD as co-Chair. In the future, we can look
at improving PD 603 or the Child and Youth Welfare Code to address all
types of violence against children.