Tag Archives: UNICEF

[Blog] A storm is a product of nature. A tragedy is man-made. By CJ Chanco

A storm is a product of nature. A tragedy is man-made.

Suggestions by some quarters to crack down on “looters” are completely out of place. We need the military to deliver aid, not clamp down on the typhoon victims. We need paratroopers to fly in relief goods – not a police state.

CJ Chanco

Again, it isn’t looting if local sari-sari stores are giving away fresh vegetables to desperately hungry families because it’s pointless to sell anything when there’s nothing to buy, and money is practically worthless on the ground. I’ve heard this happen time and again. I’m sure there is more in Tacloban than complete desolation, Red Cross-stealing hooligans, and survival-of-the-fittest. While we in Manila consider ourselves their heroes, people are already acting on their own accord to piece together the fragments of their lives — for the most part, without the government’s aid.

This is the sort of resilience the media should be focusing on. Whatever happened, after all, to the much-vaunted “Filipino spirit”?

On the other hand, what some see as anarchy others see as survival. Crime and “hooliganism” – where they occur (which happens to be few and far between, despite PNP press statements) – are completely natural responses to human scarcity.

This does not in any way distract from the gravity of the situation. Because it *is* disturbing. This is the sort of thing we will increasingly see from communities neglected by the government for so long (with or without these disasters), if we choose to continue along this path.

Indeed, it can happen in Manila and New York and Paris just as easily as it is now happening in Tacloban. It’s the sort of Hunger Games-Planet Z-do-or-die epic we will increasingly see as governments everywhere clamp down ever harder on people already stripped of all the essentials of life.

Crises like these won’t be solved by replacing civilian officials in the province of Imelda Marcos – or anywhere else – with a military force to “control” the situation there. They won’t be solved by sending 500-men military battalions to crush “unrest” and further disempower local communities.

On this score, Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, there is a world of a difference between declaring a state of emergency and declaring martial law

Peace and order will be restored only when people rebuild their own lives and above all start to question why all of this is being allowed to happen in the first place. There is politics involved in all this whether we like it or not. The very causes of the disaster – from climate change to corruption and poor preparation – have deep political roots.

Haiyan made landfall just as the Warsaw UN Climate Summit was about to begin. If there ever was a sign from god, this is it.

But Western governments’ statements of solidarity with the Philippines are a bit laughable considering their shameful role in stifling all attempts at cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions in the ongoing negotiations:


Of course, any sort of “aid”, from any government, granted with no strings attached, is more than welcome at a time like this. But no amount of charity or “aid” is every going to make up for these countries’ investments on our own shores that are wreaking havoc on the environment. No amount of “aid” is ever going to cut the greenhouse emissions of the world’s multinationals and the fossil fuel industry (including our own coal-fired plants) that are rising by the day. Last minute pork barrel-infusions won’t help either, for so long as the system stays in place: a system eating away at the very heart of the planet while leaving millions vulnerable to future calamities like this one.

Our inaction today is what generations ahead will pay for in existential debt, plus interest.

Real solidarity with the people of Leyte, Samar, and the rest of the country cannot and will not stop at donating and packing relief goods. Joining people as they organize and mobilize *around the world* to move toward a genuinely sustainable and socially just future – yes, it’s a cliche – should be part of our efforts. It’s time to connect the dots.

Haiyan is a symptom of a problem rooted in a society that is swallowing itself alive on a global scale. It is not the result of an impending rapture, a media cover-up, or a US military experiment. These are the facts. It’s time to wake up.

There are also other ways of delivering aid to flood victims without depending on largesse from Malacanang or Pnoy’s PDAF, or on charity from big relief agencies, from crowd-sourced funding online to grassroots community networks. At any rate, Oxfam, the Red Cross, Unicef, Balsa, the small churches and people’s organizations we’re now helping out – and yes, guerillas in the countryside (whatever their politics) – are doing a far better job at it than our own government.

There are already deep rifts within the Pnoy administration. The disaster has caught everyone off guard: http://www.rappler.com/…

We really do need all the help we can get, and we can’t depend on the government alone for it. Please remember how long it took for its agencies to get its act together to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo — a much smaller storm.

This is my last uber-long post for the day/month- I promise. The longer we spend on the social networks, I think, the less is done on the ground.

#ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help


#YolandaPH #ClimateJustice


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[From the web] Progress in the Philippines, but recent clashes in Mindanao highlight challenges for the peace process -UNICEF

Progress in the Philippines, but recent clashes in Mindanao highlight challenges for the peace process

NEW YORK, 25 October 2013 – Today, Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, presented the third report of the Secretary-General on the situation of children and armed conflict in the Philippines.


This report, presented to the Security Council Working Group on children and armed conflict, highlights progress to protect children affected by conflict in the Philippines, but also notes that between December 2009 and November 2012, children have continued to experience grave child rights violations in the conflicts in Mindanao and other remote areas.

“The Government of the Philippines is taking considerable steps, together with the UN, to address child protection concerns,” said Leila Zerrougui during her presentation.

The Government is about to adopt legislation specifically designed to protect children affected by armed conflict. In addition, the country’s armed forces are finalizing military guidelines to prevent military use of schools as well as a comprehensive strategy to better protect children in the conduct of military operations.

The Special Representative also noted concerns that remain to be addressed. For example, children arrested during military operations are not always treated primarily as victims and protected from public exposure. Also, stronger oversight of the Government auxiliary forces is required to avoid inadvertent association of children.

Read full article @www.unicef.org

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[Press Release] Teachers welcome Anti-bullying law -TDC

Teachers welcome Anti-bullying law

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomes the passage of the Anti-Bullying Law or RA 10627 WHICH President Aquino signed on September 12.


“Now, the teachers and school officials will have a clear legal definition of bullying and a basis for procedure in handling bullying cases in school as well as mechanism of preventing it.” Said Benjo Basas the group’s national chairperson.

Basas noted that anti-bullying is part of the Child Protection Policy which the DepEd adopted last year and with the enactment of the law, the DepEd can now improve its policy on bullying.

“This law should be implemented fairly with full protection for the bullied and the bully as well.” Basas said noting that the students who are considered bully are also in the same vulnerable situation as the bullied.

Basas cited a UNICEF study in 2009 which shows that most of the abuses that took place in schools are cases of bullying.

“We hope that this law would make the school a happy place for our children.” Basas ended.

Basas offered the assistance of his group in crafting of the implementing rules of the law.

September 21, 2013

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[Event] Race For Survival Asia -Save The Children Asia

Race For Survival Asia -Save The Children Asia 


The ‘Race For Survival’ is a 42-km charity relay for children on Oct 16, aimed at getting world leaders to commit to reducing child mortality by two-thirds before 2015.

Every year, Save the Children organizes a world marathon challenge, aimed at getting world leaders to commit to tackle issues surrounding child survival.

This year, 39 countries around the world will be participating in this race, with the goal of talking to world leaders about child malnutrition. Across the globe, one-in-four children are stunted as a result of malnutrition, which stymies their physical and cognitive development.

The result: Malnutrition is the underlying cause of one-third of all under-five child deaths every year.

The deaths of these 2.6 million children are preventable, if only policies and financial commitments were in place to promote breastfeeding, food fortification, homestead gardens, provide social protection to the poor, build health clinics and train health workers. These solutions are simple, proven and economical, and we want to spread the word.

Therefore, on World Food Day (October 16th), we invite children from all over the world to participate in the Race for Survival. We want to get children into teams of about 30 to run a marathon (42km) in a relay format of 200m for each lap.

The aim: To beat the world record time of 2h3min38s.

Phone +65 6511 3160
Email lynette.lim@savethechildren.org
Website http://save-the-children-asia.mynewsdesk…

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[From the web] Challenges in Attaining Universal Health Care in the Philippines by Medical Action Group

Challenges in Attaining Universal Health Care in the Philippines
by Medical Action Group

While every Filipino is entitled to health care as provided by the Constitution, health care in the country is regarded more as a privilege than a right as poor Filipinos find it extremely difficult to avail of health care services.

Health care inequities

Infant and child mortality

While child mortality rate1 in the Philippines has been declining since 1998, the rate is still high compared to other countries in the region such as Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. According to the State of the World’s Children Report 2009 of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Philippines is one of the 68 countries where 97 percent of all neonatal, child and maternal deaths worldwide occur.

Based on the 2008 NDHS results, about one in every 30 children dies before reaching the age of five. The IMR for the five years before the survey (roughly 2004-2008) has declined from 29 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR)2 has also declined: from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 34 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008.

Read full article @ MAG

[In the news] City life harming more Filipino kids, says UNICEF report -InterAksyon.com

City life harming more Filipino kids, says UNICEF report
by Francine M. Marquez, InterAksyon.com
February 29, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Used to be, the stereotype image of the batang probinsiyano (rural child) is a poor child dressed up in rugs toiling in the farm and the city kid is the well-off one in stylish clothes and studying in a high-quality school. That image, however, is changing as cities may be failing children, a latest UNICEF study warns.

Urbanization has been leaving hundreds of millions of children in cities and towns, deprived from vital services such as proper nutrition, potable water, and education, UNICEF says in The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World. The report, published in book form, is currently being launched worldwide.

According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), 49% of the Philippine population lives in cities (45.6 million), but it is projected that by 2030, up to 77% will be residing in urban areas due mainly by the rural-urban migration trend.

There are about 32 highly urbanized cities with the most populated area being Metro Manila with 11,547,959 people.

At the book’s media launching held Tuesday morning in Quezon City, Dr. Abdul Alim, UNICEF Deputy Representative, revealed that while urbanization may mean more access to facilities like playgrounds, more schools, museums, and parks, it also means an increasing difference between children from well-off families to those who live in poverty.

The figures are alarming. Of the 37 million Filipino children, the UNICEF cites that 13.5 million live in poverty; 240,000 are street children; 300,000 displaced by armed conflict; 50% of Grade One students have no prior learning experience; 6 out of 10 children finish elementary; 4 out of 10 children will enter high school; 4 million are child laborers; and 100,000 are victims of sex trafficking or sexual violation.

For poor urban families, raising children has become a test of daily survival especially with challenges like inadequate social services, lack of urban housing, and environmental problems like air pollution, solid waste collection, and calamities. Add to these are specific urban challenges such as HIV transmission. The UNICEF study cites that more than 50% of all 2011 HIV infections were registered in Metro Manila. One out of three newly reported cases involves young people aged between 15 to 24 years old. The report surmises that the youth are becoming more vulnerable because of lack of information.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[From the web] UNICEF 2011 Year in Review

UNICEF 2011 Year in Review

  2011. The world changed. Fast. The planet reached a population of seven billion people. A new country was created. The climate became more erratic. Economic uncertainty and higher food prices continued. But amidst it young people harnessed their power, their ideas to create a world that they want to live in. A world of fairness and justice for everybody. In 2011 UNICEF redoubled its efforts to ensure that every child, even the most marginalised, could live with dignity and in safety. Thanks to this dedication we saw some stunning achievements in 2011.

Visit http://www.unicef.org for more information about our global work for children.

Help children. Donate to UNICEF Philippines https://donate.unicef.ph

Follow us http://www.facebook.com/unicefphilippines and http://twitter.com/unicefphils

[In the news] Child protection groups formed in ‘Sendong’ evacuation centers – www.gmanetwork.com

Child protection groups formed in ‘Sendong’ evacuation centers
December 30, 2011, GMAnetwork.com

  Social welfare officials in the areas hit by tropical storm “Sendong” (international name: Washi) in Region 10 have organized a Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) to help children who were abandoned or injured in the incident.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said the CPWG includes representatives of non-government organizations engaged in child welfare and protection.

Earlier on Tuesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs , in a situation report on the impact of “Sendong,” said “Around 87,500 children require registration and camp coordination to protect them from abuse, exploitation and trafficking in evacuation centers,” the said Tuesday in a situation report on the impact of Sendong.

“There is a lack of protection mechanisms for vulnerable sub-groups, such as pregnant and lactating women, female heads of households, single women, people with disabilities and the elderly,” the report said.

On its website on Friday,  the DSWD said, “Some 79 youth facilitators from participating non-government organizations will conduct counseling (for) the children.”

The DSWD reported that as of December 29, it has provided psycho-social protection services to children below five years old.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman said the psycho-social protection services will help the children gradually share their fears, anxieties, negative emotions, and traumatic experiences.

The DSWD said two tents have also been installed at the evacuation centers in West City Central School, City Central School, Macasandig, and Bulua to serve as counseling areas.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) also provided play kits for the children in evacuation centers.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

[In the news] NDF agrees to work with UN on child soldiers- www.malaya.com.ph


File photo source: telegraph.co.uk



Source: http://www.malaya.com.ph


A UNITED Nations special representative for children and armed conflict said on Friday that communist leaders have agreed to hold talks on a plan to eliminate child soldiers.

Coomaraswamy Radhika said in a briefing that her team has been invited by the leaders of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to Utrecht to discuss an action plan similar to one forged earlier by Muslim rebels.

“We plan to send a team to Utrecht the soonest time possible to begin the discussions,” Coomaraswamy said.

Coomaraswamy said the NDFP, which is representing the New People’s Army and the Communist Party of the Philippines in peace negotiations with the Philippine government, did not acknowledge using child fighters but admitted of having a “problem” on this particular issue.

“Maybe because of legal reasons, that’s why they didn’t categorically say that they had children fighters, but they did acknowledge that it was a problem by agreeing to work towards an action plan,” she noted.

“So, we are working on that basis and we will go ahead and register children…Then go ahead with the reintegration process (through education and vocational training),” she added.

The NPA, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Abu Sayyaf group are listed in the Secretary General’s report on children and armed conflict for using and recruiting girls and boys.

For the group Abu Sayyaf, Coomaraswamy said the group showed no sign of cooperating and “don’t seem interested at all.”

In August 2009, the MILF signed an agreement with UNICEF to stop recruiting children and give them access to education, health, and other services provided by the UN and other government agencies.

Coomaraswamy said about 600 children have already been listed as child fighters since the MILF started identifying child soldiers in August 2010.

She said the MILF leaders she met last week in Mindanao agreed to have the registration completed in nine months.

“We really do not want them in the armed groups… We want them in schools,” Coomaraswamy said.

According to Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF’s country representative, 472 of the 600 registered children are boys, while the rest were girls, between the ages of 15 to 18 years old.

She said the youngest boy is eight years old, working as a messenger.

[Statement] UNICEF Philippines – Media centre – The Protection of Children on Reality TV shows

UNICEF Philippines – Media centre – The Protection of Children on Reality TV shows.

Source: UNICEFThis statement is in response to the many enquiries we have received in relation to the six year old boy who was subjected to ridicule and humiliation on the primetime show ‘Willing Willie’ on TV5.

UNICEF fully supports the actions taken by the DSWD and Commission on Human Rights and other concerned groups to ensure the child’s right to protection from exploitation and abuse and to counsel the family involved in this incident. UNICEF is also advocating for the media, particularly for the broadcast TV networks, to take a careful look at the values and behaviors that are being promoted in some of their programs.

Under Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most widely adopted human rights treaty in the world, it states that:

* Children must be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
* The CRC also provides for prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

In the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Broadcast Code of 2007, Article 11 on Children’s Programs and Welfare provides for:

* The airing of programs that would help children to develop to their full physical and mental and social potential shall be encouraged.
* Programs shall not depict inappropriate sexual subjects or violent actions
* No material that are physically, mentally, morally and psychologically harmful to children shall be aired

The power of television to influence and shape public attitude and opinion is incomparable. UNICEF is willing to work with concerned agencies and institutions to promote best practices on how children should be treated and depicted both as guests and actors in the media.

For further information:

Pam Pagunsan, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 9010173, ppagunsan@unicef.org
Angela Travis, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Philippines, Tel: +632 901-0177, atravis@unicef.org