CHR worried over child abuse incidents

By Rhodina Villanueva, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 15 2014 06:49 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2014 02:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has expressed alarm over recent reports of incidents of child abuse in Sampaloc, Cagayan de Oro and Butuan City.

CHR Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales said the commission is alarmed that abuses committed against children are done by the parents themselves. “Children rely on them and should be taken care of by their own parents. Under the law, the parents have the duty to give their children love, affection, and understanding and to always set a good example,” Rosales said.

She called on local government units through their Local Councils for the Protection of Children (LCPCs) to intensify their information campaign on the rights of the child and the duties of parents.

She said she believes this mechanism will help prevent abuses and exploitation of children “within families even in the grassroots level.”

Rosales said the CHR respects the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or those who are legally responsible for the child in providing appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise of rights recognized under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The CHR reminds the public that the child should grow up in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. Like adults, they also have rights as human beings and should not be regarded as mere properties and possible investments of their parents,” she said.

Rosales added that should the parents fail to perform their duties and violate the rights of children, the CHR, mandated to ensure that the status, rights and interest of children are protected, will ensure that they suffer the consequences and that the child victim be given the necessary support and rehabilitation.

The CHR also encouraged the public to continuously report cases of abuse.

“The parents can discipline their children but it is not a license to maltreat them in the guise of enforcing discipline. Children depend on their parents for sustenance and have to submit to their authority, which makes it easier to commit child abuse,” she said.

“But Republic Act 7610, otherwise known as Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, provides protection for children against all forms of abuse and exploitation. Under this law, parents who commit child abuse, if convicted, would have to be incarcerated,” she said.