The Rights and Welfare of Children Summit will be held on February 15, 2013 at the Dear Manang’s Events Place, Tetuan Highway, Zamboanga City.
The summit is a joint initiative of the National Youth Commission, the Office of Deputy Speaker Ma. Isabelle G. Climaco, the Department of Education, the EDSA People Power Commission and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.
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Around two hundred (200) individuals ages 11-14 years old who are in-school, out of school, with special needs/ disabilities including those who belong to indigenous communities will convene to address the many problems, issues and challenges that compromise the welfare and the best interest of our children especially in the southernmost part of Mindanao where terrorism is still a societal problem and children are seen as victims of violence.
Commissioner Earl Saavedra, the Head of the Summit Organizing Committee, explained that the areas within the back-channel route towards the neighboring ASEAN states are locations where frequent child-trafficking activities happen. “The National Youth Commission prevented an incident, where fifty (50) children and youth (mostly women), were brought to Zamboanga City from Basilan and were promised with jobs and scholarship by a certain illegal recruiter. The condemning act was an eye-opener to agencies that work for the rights and welfare not only of the children and youth but including the other sectors of society. It was when we conceptualized the idea of organizing an activity to push for such important advocacy focusing on children” he further stated.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Ma. Isabelle Climaco- Salazar commented that the activity will open many more opportunities where children’s importance and roles are highlighted as a significant part of the nation. “It will make all of us realize that as early as now, they are part of our nation building efforts and we need to protect, care and love them”, she added.
The one-day activity on February 15, 2013 includes sessions/workshops on Self Discovery and Identity, Establishing Oneself in the Community through Artwork Exposures; a discussion on Child’s Rights and Welfare (Dual approach mechanism on peer and moderator counseling and hands-on activities); and a presentation of the Children’s Agenda and launching of the Local Children’s Council/ Organization as its culminating activity.
Undersecretary Alberto T. Muyot of the Department of Education and Commissioner Percival Cendaña of the National Youth Commission are also expected to grace the program.
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