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Police Accuse Tribal School of Training Child Combatants

On Monday, police in the central Philippine city of Cebu raided a temporary school for displaced Indigenous children and detained 26 people, including 19 children. Police allege the school was training children as “armed combatants” for the communist…
Arrested teachers and adult Indigenous students confer with their lawyer while detained in a Cebu City jail. 
News

House Passes Bill Increasing Age of Sexual Consent to 16

The Philippines House of Representatives took an important step this week to protect children with the passage of a bill raising the age of sexual consent from 12 years, one of the lowest in the world, to 16. The proposed legislation, which must still…
Members of Congress convene at the House of Representatives in Quezon city, metropolitan Manila, Philippines, in this May 31, 2017 file photo. 
News

Education Not Prioritized at Annual Donor Conference

June 30 was possibly the most important day of 2020 for Syrian refugee children. At the annual pledging conference for the “Future of Syria and the Region,” dozens of governments and multilateral donors pledged US$7.7 billion in humanitarian aid for…
Hanan, a Syrian refugee in Jordan, created learning ‘blocks’ for her children from discarded cigarette cases.
News

State Perpetrators in Syria, Yemen Go Unnamed

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded in an April 8 report that Syria’s air force had carried out three chemical weapons attacks against its own people, including children, on the orders of senior military…
Children attending class on the first day of school, which was damaged by an airstrike during fighting between Saudi-led coalition-backed government forces and Houthi forces, Taizz, Yemen, September 3, 2019.
News

Young People Locked in Dog Cages, Coffins, Stripped Naked

Philippine authorities have subjected children to absurdly abusive treatment for violating curfew and quarantines rules imposed to limit exposure to COVID-19. Police and local officials in several parts of the country have mistreated…
A screenshot of an officer with five youths locked inside a dog cage after breaking curfew in Laguna province, the Philippines on March 20, 2020. © 2020 Facebook
News

UN Human Rights Council Should Adopt Resolution to Stop Carnage

On Sunday, a 3-year-old girl became the latest casualty of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs,” which has killed thousands over the past three years. Myca Ulpina died after being shot during a police raid targeting her…
Protesters display placards and shout slogans during a rally outside the Philippine National Police headquarters to protest the killing by police of Kian Loyd Delos Santos, a 17-year-old grade 11 student
News

Bill Would Lower Age of Criminal Responsibility from 15 to 9

The Philippine government is one step closer to prosecuting young children as adults, a key plank in President Rodrigo Duterte’s abuse-ridden anti-crime campaign. On Monday, a congressional committee approved a bill that…
Detainees sit next to an anti-drug mural of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte inside the Manila City Jail, October 16, 2017.
News

Forces in Northeast Issue Order to Prohibit Recruitment, Verify Ages

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of forces controlling parts of Syria’s northeast, has taken an important step towards ending the use of child soldiers in their ranks. The SDF issued a military order banning the…
Ain Issa displaced persons camp, one of three camps in northeast Syria where Human Rights Watch found the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) have been recruiting children for military participation, June 2017.
News

Failing Drug Screening Could Have Deadly Consequences

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs” may soon place thousands of primary school children in harm’s way. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) announced on Friday that it is seeking the…
Mourners watch as Kian delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was shot during anti-drug operations, is buried in Metro Manila, Philippines, August 26, 2017.
News

Accountability Needed for Kids’ Deaths in ‘Drug War’

The Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence against Children, formulated by the government’s Council for the Welfare of Children and UNICEF, the United Nations children’s organization, outlines and harmonizes the roles of different…
Mourners watch as Kian delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was shot during anti-drug operations is buried in Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines August 26, 2017.
News

Amid Ongoing Bombings, More Protection Needed for Education

In areas of Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus held by anti-government armed groups, schools have closed for fear that Syrian and Russian warplanes will bomb them. Instead, local residents have opened informal schools…
Children walk through the rubble of the Tamayuz (“Excellence”) kindergarten in the town of Hamouriyeh after it was hit by a Syrian-Russian airstrike on November 8, 2017. © 2017 Private
News

Presidential ‘Joke’ Sets Back Reproductive Health Efforts

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demonstrated reckless disregard for the health of Filipinos this week by suggesting they avoid using condoms because they “aren’t pleasurable.” During an address to returning overseas migrant workers…
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News

Fully Implement and Enforce the Reproductive Health Law

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has effectively lifted a supreme court order in 2015 temporarily banning 51 female hormonal contraceptive products by determining that they do not induce abortion. The FDA action…
201711Asia_Philippines_BirthControl Women listen during a family planning lecture by a Likhaan NGO health worker at a reproductive health clinic in Tondo, metro Manila, Philippines January 12, 2016.
News

New Policy Will Help Open School Doors

The big picture is bleak for Syrian refugee children, but the Jordanian government recently took a step to ensure these children’s right to an education. Jordanian regulations require Syrian children to have a “service card,” issued by the…
Syrian children attend class in a school in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, October 20, 2015. The school taught Syrian girls in the morning and boys in the afternoon, but lacked electricity, heating, and running water.
News

Duterte Should Sign ‘Safe Schools Declaration,’ Not Threaten Students

  Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened airstrikes on schools for indigenous children on the southern island of Mindanao that he alleged are teaching “subversion [and] communism.” “I will bomb…
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks to protesters after he delivered his State of the Nation address at the Congress in Quezon city, Metro Manila Philippines July 24, 2017.
News

Armed Islamists, Government Forces Undermine Right to Education

  On June 21, dozens of armed Islamist rebels stormed and occupied a school on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, the latest in a slew of attacks that highlight the continued risks children face seeking an education in the volatile…
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News

Government Should Ratify and Implement the Minamata Convention

Memory loss, heart palpitations, respiratory problems – villagers on the Philippine island of Palawan are showing signs consistent with mercury poisoning. According to a government study made public this week, many residents of two Palawan…
Mercury-contaminated water
News
Some rare good news for human rights in the Philippines: Lawmakers have decided against a proposed change to the juvenile justice law that would have allowed 9-year-old children to be prosecuted and imprisoned. The House…
A child peers from inside a makeshift house with tin walls in Tacloban, Philippines, January 15, 2015.
News

Setback for Efforts to Curb Fast-Growing HIV Epidemic

The Philippine Department of Education this week rejected a proposal to distribute condoms in public high schools. The proposal, made by the Department of Health, was an overdue response to the country’s worsening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)…
Students receive free condoms at an event organized by the United Nations Population Fund in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, July 11, 2014.
News

Biggest Barrier to Children’s Education is Parents Out of Work

More than 40 percent of Syrian refugee children are still not going to school. That’s according to a new UNICEF report, which says that while Turkey has seen a 50 percent increase in school attendance for Syrian refugee children since last June, far too…
Maya, 9, reads a school textbook in her family home. She enjoys attending her local public school in izmir, on turkey’s west coast, where she is one of four Syrian students in her class.