Statement of the Commission on Human Rights condemning the recent cases of killing and exploitation of girls across the country

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights condemning the recent cases of killing and exploitation of girls across the country

⚠️Trigger Warning: Death, Rape, Assault, Sexual Exploitation⚠️

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) vehemently condemns the recent cases of killing and exploitation against girls in the country. These cruel and reprehensible acts not only violate the fundamental rights of these individuals but also impose a grave disregard for the sanctity of human life.

The first case involves a Grade 2 female pupil who had been found dead inside a sack in a remote area of Barangay Conel in General Santos City on 13 March 2024. It was also suspected that the victim had been assaulted and raped before her death.

Meanwhile, in another case, a woman was arrested for allegedly using her kids for online sex exploitation. Authorities found various child sexual exploitation materials involving her children and other younger relatives. The victims are aged 8, 11, and 13 years old.

The CHR expresses profound denouncement of these despicable incidents. We emphasise that the protection and promotion of the rights of girls and children are essential components of fostering a just and equitable community.

Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) explicitly states that “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child 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.”

We acknowledge the efforts made by relevant authorities to advance these cases and hold those responsible accountable. In line with this, we continue to call on authorities to take swift and decisive action to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice and that comprehensive measures are put in place to prevent such atrocities from happening again and to protect the well-being and rights of all children.

Ultimately, the Commission believes that eradicating violence and exploitation against children requires a collective commitment from all sectors of society. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting and upholding the rights of all, particularly children, and to ensure a community that values life, respect, and dignity for all members of it. ###