Sen. Bongbong Marcos Seeks Protection of Children in Armed Conflict; Forbids Recruitment of Child Soldiers
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos has filed the proposed Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict Act in the Senate which is aimed at providing comprehensive safeguard as well as the rehabilitation and reintegration of children involved in, affected by or displaced by armed conflict.
Marcos said that the government should provide special protection to Children in Situations of Armed Conflict (CSAC) from all forms of abuses, violence, neglect, cruelty and discrimination.
“Children deserve utmost protection from all forms of danger. All efforts must, therefore, be exerted to ensure that they are sheltered and protected at all times,” Marcos said
Senate Bill 2886, authored by Marcos, prohibits the voluntary and compulsory recruitment and involvement of persons below 18 years of age in armed conflict.
The United Nations Security Council recently adopted a resolution against recruitment of child soldiers, pressing nations to halt the abuse of children including rape.
Marcos explained that the national government should take all feasible measures to prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and address the root causes of armed conflict that involve and affect children resulting in their displacement and psychological trauma.
“Under this measure, government forces as well as other armed groups shall be liable for the violation of any provisions of this proposed law.” he said.
This proposed legislation aims to prohibit and penalize the commission of grave child rights violation in armed conflict situations including killing of children, subjecting them to torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, rape or abduction of children, other acts constituting gender-based violence against children, use of children as hostages or human shield, denial of humanitarian access and/or assistance to children and attack on schools, hospitals, places of worship, evacuation centers and settlements and other public places where children can usually be found.