“All children have rights and those rights must be protected” - Novak Djokovic
This November, we are celebrating the National Children’s Month with the theme: “New Normal na Walang Iwanan: Karapatan ng Bawat Bata Ating Tutukan”. This is mandated by R.A. 10661 also known as the National Children’s Month Act signed in 2015 which aims to commemorate the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. Based on the convention, children are entitled to the following rights regardless of sex, race, citizenship, religion, and social class:
1. Right to be born well.
2. Right to have a wholesome family life.
3. Right to a versatile development of character.
4. Right to have basic living essentials such as nutritious foods, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and other necessities.
5. Right to be in an atmosphere where personality can be enhanced.
6. Right to be well-educated and develop basic learning skills.
7. Right to play and do recreational activities during the child’s leisure hours.
8. Right to be protected and carried away from abusive individuals.
9. Rights to live in a stress-free and negative environment.
10. Right to be looked after when parents or guardians fail to sustain fundamental needs.
11. Right to be led by a genuine and sincere government for better well-being.
12. Right to age in a surrounding filled with love, tranquility and appreciation.
In the Philippine context, many of these rights continue to be violated due to social inequality and poverty. For the past year, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Filipino families lost their livelihood - which affected their capacity to purchase food and avail health services.
The National Nutrition Council together with the DOH, DSWD, LGU and other NGO’s help address the fulfillment of children’s rights through nutrition and health programs such as:
● Promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and infant young child feeding through the First 1000 days campaign
● Food fortification program
● Micronutrient supplementation program
● Garantisadong Pambata Program which covers Deworming and Free Immunization Services
● Family Planning Services by the LGU
● Tutok Kainan Program
● Supplementary Feeding Programs for Day Care Children and School Children
● Conduct of Annual Operation Timbang Activities
We can also contribute in fulfilling children’s rights by supporting and availing our nutrition and health programs for children and by allowing our children to grow in a positive and loving environment despite the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Nelson Mandela said, “The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children”. So let us join in this community effort to protect children’s rights!
• Department of Health (2021). November is National Children’s Month Infographic. Health Pilipinas Facebook Page. Date Accessed 02 November 2021. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=187258460255739&set=pb.100069147581661.-2207520000..
• R.A. 10661 (2015). National Children’s Month Act. Official Gazette. GOVPH. Date Accessed 02 November 2021. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2015/05/29/republic-act-no-10661/
• United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (1995). Convention on the Rights of the Child. United Nations Human Rights. Date Accessed 02 November 2021. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx