Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. wants to provide protection for the rights and welfare of children involved in, and affected by armed conflict, as well as those who have been displaced by reason of armed conflict.
“Children deserve utmost protection from all forms of danger. All efforts must be, therefore, be exerted to ensure that they are sheltered and protected at all times,” the senator said.
Marcos said he would re-file in the next Congress his own bill meant to provide special protection of children in situations of armed conflict.
The bill provides a penalty ranging from six years to life imprisonment depending on the gravity of the violation of acts prohibited under the proposed measure. Marcos had filed the same bill (SBN 2886) in the current 15th Congress.
The measure prohibits the voluntary and compulsory recruitment and involvement of persons below 18 years of age in armed conflict.
It likewise forbids and penalizes the commission of grave child rights violation in armed conflict situation including the killing of children, subjecting them to torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, rape or abduction of children, and other acts constituting gender-based violence against children.
In addition, the measure also outlaws use of children as hostages or human shield, denial of humanitarian access and/or assistance to children, and attack of schools, hospitals, places of worship, evacuation centers and settlements and other public places where children can usually be found.