16 November 2011

Groups Back Senators' Move to Declare November 20 as "National Children's Day"

Citizens’ groups promoting children’s environmental health have thrown their support behind a Senate bill declaring November 20 of every year as “National Children’s Day.”

In a statement, Arugaan, Makabata para sa Bayan and the EcoWaste Coalition hailed Senate Bill No. 3006 as a potential platform for mobilizing support to a wide range of children’s rights, including the right to health and chemical safety.

“We welcome this initiative by our Senators to energize a movement for promoting national attentiveness and action to uphold children’s rights such as their right to be protected against health and environmental pollutants,” said Velvet Roxas of Arugaan, a group dedicated to promoting breastfeeding and maternal and child health.

Prepared by the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture with Senators Edgardo Angara, Antonio Trillanes IV and Manny Villar, SB 3006 seeks “to promote consciousness over the protection of the rights of Filipino children and the importance of fostering their well-being to secure the growth and development of society.”

Senators picked November 20 to commemorate two milestones in the international children’s rights advocacy, the groups said.

On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the “Declaration on the Rights of the Child” and on the same day in 1989 adopted the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” that the Philippines ratified in 1990.

Article 24 of the “Convention on the Rights of the Child” affirms “the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.”

State parties, including the Philippines, are directed to pursue appropriate measures to “diminish infant and child mortality, “combat disease and malnutrition” and “ensure access to education and the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation.”

“SB 3006 should lead to increased awareness about children’s special vulnerabilities and their need for vital safeguards against harms posed by chemicals and wastes,” said Allan Tura, Executive Director, Makabata para sa Bayan, a group promoting the transformation of Filipino children into active catalysts of social reform and nation building.

“The declaration, we hope, should provide impetus for the government and other stakeholders to proactively collaborate to prevent threats to children’s health at all stages of development,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental network of over 125 public interest groups.

SB 3006 designates the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Youth Commission and the Council for the Welfare of Children as lead agencies for implementing the "National Children's Day."

-end-

References:


SB 3006

http://www.senate.gov.ph/lisdata/1238510430!.pdf


Convention on the Rights of the Child

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm

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