Hike in child abuse cases ‘alarming’

Senatorial contender under Makabayan-Nacionalista Liza Largoza-Maza is alarmed over the increasing child abuse cases in the Philippines

ANTIPOLO City, Feb. 8, 2010— Senatorial contender Liza Maza of Nationalista-Makabayan party has sounded the alarm over the increasing number of abused children in the country.

“This is alarming. The rising cases of child abuse only manifest government neglect on the rights and welfare of children. As a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, our government should be in the forefront in ensuring that our children are protected from all forms of abuse,” said Maza, a three-term representative of Gabriela Women’s Party.

Maza is one of the authors of the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act or Republic Act 9262, a law that aims to protect the family and its members particularly women and children from violence and threats to their personal safety and security.

Unicef says that the Philippines is ranked 4th in list of countries with the most number of child prostitutes.

Citing reports from an advocacy group and the Philippine National Police’s National Women’s and Children’s Protection Desk, Ms. Maza said that there about 200,000 children that have experienced abuse.

In 2009 alone, the PNP-WCD received 9,787 cases of child abuse, about a thousand higher than the 2008 record.

The United Nations Children’s Fund also reported that there are more or less 75,000 child sex workers in the Philippines, making the country fourth on the list of countries having a large number of prostituted children.

“This situation should be addressed in no time! Failure to protect our children from abuse is not only an indignity to the current administration, it also speaks strongly about their underhanded priorities,” she said.

Maza also challenged all aspirants for the 2010 national elections to lay down their plans for the Filipino children. (CBCPNews.com)