MANILA, Dec. 19, 2014 — Over 20 street children who sleep on scraps of karton (paperboard) and in kariton (carts) in a park in Manila received on Dec. 17, not just Christmas gift packs from child rights advocates, but also an orientation on their
“With their condition in the streets, they are extremely exposed to all possible abuse,” said Sr. Adel Abamo (SDS), Salvatorian Pastoral Care for Children (SPCC) executive director.
Kinds of abuse
The Salvatorians and volunteers, Elli and Franzi from Germany and Austria, taught the children, who wander aimlessly in Plaza Lawton near the city’s central terminal day and night, about their inviolable rights.
According to Abamo, all kinds of abuse committed against children were enumerated to them one by one. They were also warned to immediately flee the moment they sense danger.
The mothers were also made aware of the rights of their children, the sister said.
“We have reminded them to take good care of their kids and protect their rights and welfare from any violation, especially that they are too vulnerable with the situation in the streets,” Abamo said.
The children and their parents were informed about where they may seek assistance in case of abuse.
Some of the homeless families who stay in Lawton are Badjaos, Abamo noted.
As a more long-term solution, SPCC will facilitate relocation of the families of street children in Lawton through referrals if they are willing to return to their province.
SPCC will be tapping other non-government organizations, individuals, as well as government agencies.
“They can have a simple, but peaceful life in the province where they came from,” Abamo said.
The social welfare should pursue and strengthen the goal of zero street children in all areas, particularly Metro Manila, she said.
By addressing the roots of poverty, the government can reduce the number of street children and homeless families, Abamo said. (Oliver Samson/CBCPNews)