Statement of the Commission on Human Rights in support of the passage of the Magna Carta of Children Bill

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights in support of the passage of the Magna Carta of Children Bill

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) urges for the swift passage of House Bill No. 10159, or the Magna Carta of Children Bill. We positively envision this to strengthen our monitoring mechanisms in ensuring the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child in the country.

During the first House Committee hearing headed by Rep. Angelica Natasha Co of the Committee on the Welfare of Children, the CHR took part in the discussions through Commissioner Beda A. Epres as the Focal for Child Rights to highlight its role in the protection and promotion of all Filipino children. Once HB 10159 is passed into law, the CHR will be designated as the country’s Ombud for Children.

In line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), it is incumbent upon the State to take all appropriate measures to ensure that the rights of all children are guaranteed. The Magna Carta incorporates the four basic principles of the UNCRC into the Philippine landscape: (a) non-discrimination, (b) to regard the best interests of the child as a primary consideration of the State, (c) right to survival and development, and (d) respecting the views of the child.

“A whole-of-society approach should be mobilised to ensure that the State is able to protect, respect, and fulfil the rights of every Filipino child. Once the bill is passed, the Commission’s efforts towards guaranteeing the children’s right to a safe and empowering environment will continue, and we hope that this will translate to additional financial and human resources to effectively carry out our role as the Ombud for Children,” according to Commissioner Epres.

The CHR, through its Child Rights Center, is a member of the Core Group of the Magna Carta of Children bill and is also involved in the advocacy and lobbying work for the passage of HB 10159.

The Commission anticipates full support of the Congress in the passage of the bill to demonstrate their commitment to recognising the vital role of children in nation-building through effective delivery of services targeted to promote and protect their overall well-being. For our part, CHR will continue to be open for consultation to ensure that the Magna Carta for Children fully responds to the rights of every Filipino child.###