Bishop renews plea for kids’ right to education

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MANILA, Nov. 26, 2014—A member of the local Church hierarchy has reiterated the call to promote the welfare of Filipino children.

“Let’s always uphold their rights and make sure every child is in school,” said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo in a recent interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the proportion of youth population, aged 7-24 years old who were out of school and those who were unemployed and have not graduated from college increased by 852, 000 from 3 million in 1989 to 3.8 million in 1994. (Photo: CBCPNews)

He stressed children have the right to get educated, the right to play, the right to proper nourishment, and the right to comfortable shelter, among many others.

The prelate, however, lamented that the country performs poorly when it comes to safeguarding the rights of its young citizens, and raised the alarm on the rising number of out-of-school youths.

Pabillo also reminded the public of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed 25 years ago, which pushes for the protection of the rights of minors.

The prelate noted that in the Philippines, some of the problems affecting kids are those involving child labor, physical and verbal abuses, cyber sex, and human trafficking.

In many cases, the bishop regretted, the abusers of minors and violators of their rights are often persons closest to them—their own parents.

The prelate, who chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), has just returned from Indonesia where he had attended a forum on “Child’s Rights” sponsored by the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (Unicef) for countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

A United Nations (UN) study reveals that one out of three people who become victims of human trafficking worldwide is a child, who most likely will end up in the “sex trade” and forced labor. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCPNews)

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