EDITORIAL | A safe environment for our children

PRINCESS Bai from the children’s organization Nakamata (loosely translated as ‘aware’) said in a radio program over at DxUM Radyo Ukay, that in their engagement with peers in depressed communities, the rights of children always come to the fore, and their responsibilities as well, “because we all have to live with respect and affirmation of our strengths.”

A teenager herself, Princess is a senior high student following the STEM track as she wants to pursue a medical course. She is active in children’s rights advocacy and can articulate the concerns they do battle with on a daily basis at this time of technology explosion. Aware of the common complaints of adults on millennials, she suggests that it would be helpful if positive discipline is practiced by parents as they guide them through the pains of growing up.

This is easier said than done. Child-focused organizations are the first to admit this. In the past decade, a worldwide campaign was launched to stop corporal punishment after the United Nations found that many children went through harrowing and traumatic abuse while growing up. Positive discipline as a value to build a supportive and loving environment for children in the homes and communities is an ideal practice child-focused organizations want to achieve. The local government plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and protection of children as exemplified by the experience of Davao City.

The Children’s Welfare Council collaborates with various nongovernment organizations and government agencies to implement the city’s Children’s Welfare Code. More than this initiative, it works with the Barangay Children Protection Council to respond to the particular needs of children and creates programs that will enable children to participate and have a voice in the community.

This kind of environment shapes children like Princess who are confident and aware of their rights and equally conscious that with these rights are also responsibilities they have to fulfill for their families and communities.

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Posted in Opinion