[From the web] ‘Worse than prison’: Abuses in Philippine youth homes -PhilStar.com

Eleven-year-old Jerry’s crime was breaking curfew laws after fleeing violence at home. His punishment? Being sent to a youth detention centre, where he says he endured sexual abuse.

Officially called “Houses of Hope”, proponents in the Philippines say such facilities are places for reformation and education, but critics slam many of them as “hellholes” where children are treated like caged animals.

Rights’ groups say Jerry should never have been detained under current laws, but warn a proposed bill to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12, will mean thousands more children will be sent to overcrowded and underfunded centres — leaving them vulnerable to mistreatment.

Read more @www.philstar.com

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