Press Release
December 10, 2019


Rising authoritarian regimes and increasing vulnerability to climate change are among the signs of the times that confront the youth to speak out in defense of human rights. We should do all that we can to ensure they are heard and included.

On International Human Rights Day, let us celebrate our young people not only because they are our hope for a just and peaceful society, but also because at an early age, they are already making strides in the promotion of democracy, equal rights and participation, freedom of expression, and sustainable development. But how can the youth participate when their childhood is cut short?

In the Philippines, 74 children were killed in the government's so-called war on drugs, while up to 32,000 were left orphaned. Pushed further into poverty and carrying the stigma of losing a loved one in the extra-judicial killings, some children drop out of school, their future made more uncertain. How can we expect the Filipino youth to rise above the oppression and violence?

Instead of seeing them as victimized and exploited, children in conflict with the law are considered undeserving of better opportunities amid moves by Philippine lawmakers to lower the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 to 9. What kind of national consciousness is forming inside them when society has failed to protect their rights?

With this year marking the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, let us address the gaps in our commitment to uphold every child's right to grow up with security and happiness.

To our youth, you were born into an era when you can easily become the most educated generation. I call upon you to open your eyes to the truth. Inform yourselves about the issues that matter. Seize every opportunity to get involved in social causes. You are never too young to speak truth to power. Defend the victims of injustice. Stand up for human rights for your sake, and that of the generations to come.


PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame

10 December 2019

News Latest News Feed