As the lead agency in social protection, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) supports initiatives to improve the quality of life of children with disabilities (CWDs) as it participates in the Conference on the State of Children with Disabilities in the Philippines at the Century Park Hotel on October 26-27.
Organized by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), an attached agency of DSWD, the two-day conference aims to present and discuss the current situation of CWDs, their issues and concerns and the existing programs and services available for them at the national and local levels, and agree on a common plan to respond to these concerns.
As a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the first binding universal treaty solely dedicated to the protection and promotion of children’s rights, the Philippines has the obligation to come-up with policies and programs for children.
The CRC is also the first instrument that has specific article recognizing and promoting the rights of children with disabilities. The plight of CWDs is further given emphasis by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) wherein the Philippines is a State Party.
Both conventions provide the framework to promote the human rights of CWDs. However, in spite of the continuing efforts of the Philippine Government as a State Party to the conventions, CWDs and their families still face challenges which compromise their human rights.
According to DSWD OIC-Secretary Emmanuel A. Leyco, “Children with disabilities face difficulties and are at a greater risk of being abused and exploited than their peers without disabilities. They could be deprived of opportunities for growth and development as a result of their impairments and limited access to education and other services. “
“Kailangan ng mga batang may kapansanan ang espesyal na proteksyon at kalinga upang hindi sila maabuso at mapabayaan(CWDs need special protection and care so they will not be abused and neglected.) The government should extend all the assistance to them to thrive and grow-up as productive citizens, “ OIC-Secretary Leyco emphasized.
State of children
The 2013 State of the World’s Children Report published by the United Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that, “Children living in poverty are among the least likely to enjoy the benefits of education and health care, for example, but children who live in poverty and have disabilities are even less likely to attend the local school or clinic.”
Moreover, while there are programs and services available at the national and local levels, there is a need to look at these in a wider perspective vis-a-vis what is actually being experienced by CWDs.
Representatives from other government agencies, such as the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), Department of Health, Department of Education, Supreme Court, Commission on Human Rights, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; and, partner non-government organizations such as the Philippine Coalition on UN Convention on the Rights of PWDs, Philippine Deaf Resource, and Save the Children will also attend the conference to share inputs on how to uplift the lives of CWDs. # Source - www.dswd.gov.ph