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Kyle Baleva for the 3rd time walks for his advocacy to support children victims of human rights violations!

Again, for the 3rd time Kyle Baleva now 14 years old will walk in the 95th  International Four-Day March known as “Walk of the World” in Nijmegen, The Netherlands along with 45,000 people from different parts of the world. He will hike 30 kilometer a day, a total of 120 kilometers for four days. The said event will start on July 19 and will end on July 22, 2011. 

In the past two years, Kyle joined this annual event in order to raise awareness and raise fund to support the “A Hand for an Orphan” project of the Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC). Through this project, children of victims of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances were provided with educational, medical and nutritional support. 

The executive director of CRC, Ms. Jacquiline Ruiz expresses gratitude and encouragement to Kyle, “In behalf of CRC, for the third time, we are with you in your 4-day journey. We wish that you will finish the race without any difficulty along the way. We know you can do it with your will and determination in helping Filipino children. We are also thanking you in advance for your persistence in your advocacy to support the Filipino children victims of human rights violations.”

Ruiz cited that after a  year of Benigno Simeon C. Aquino as president, there are a total of 48 victims of political killings and 5 enforced disappearances that leave more than eight orphaned children (as indicated in FS and UA). She added that the new counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan with respect on “human rights” as its main theme is no different from the Oplan Bantay Laya I&II of the previous administration of Arroyo. Those who violated human and children's rights are still at large and the number of violations is increasing. Children are still not spared. 

Last year, through the pledges in every mile Kyle walked from the 4-day walkathon, advocacy activities and the Annual Peace camp of CRC, a gathering of children victims and children of victims of human rights violations such as political killings, disappearances, illegal detention and torture was conducted. 40 children and 14 adults participated in the Peace Camp which included games, chanting and other fun activities to uphold children's rights. 

Baleva, started his advocacy when he was 12 years old. He was a son of Filipino migrants in The Netherlands. His father Boyen was once a victim of abduction, torture and illegal detention in 2001 during the time of President Arroyo. ###

 

you can visit this site to follow Kyle : http://www.filipinochildren.net/

Children's Peace Camp 2010

Every year, the Children’s Rehabilitation Center conducts its Children’s Peace Camp where children of victims and children victims of human rights violations gather for solidarity in their call for justice.

Children’s Peace Camp 2010 was held last December 5, 2010, at the grounds of Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City. This year's activity was supported by The Netherlands based solidarity organization, Stitchting voor Filippijnse Kinderen and the Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture (PATAC), an organization of Filipino-Canadian artists based in Canada in cooperation with the office of Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares   A group from a call center company, Global Stream Solutions also helped out in the activities through gift giving and facilitating some games for the children.


There were 40 children aged 3 years old to 16 years old and 14 adults-guardians who participated in the peace camp. The participants were children-victims of human rights violations and children of victims of enforced disappearance, extra-judicial killings, and political detainees such as those 43 health workers illegally detained in February 2010. 

The activity was filled not only with fun and games for the children but more importantly with the call for justice for their parents and loved ones.  The gift-giving from the call center volunteers made the children feel the spirit of Christmas and ensured that they did not go home empty-handed.  

The Peace Camp also became the venue of an art contest scponsored by Bayan Muna through the Office of Rep Neri Colmenares.  The contest, with the theme: “Panawagan ng mga bata kay PNoy: Kapayapaang nakabatay sa Katarungan”, provided the venue to show the artistic skills of the children and at the same time to express their calls for justice and peace.  The children were grouped into 5 and were asked to create a mural echoing the theme.  

The awarding of winners of the contest was held the next day, December 6, 2010 at the North wing lobby of the House of Representatives in Quezon City, after the short program to start human rights week at the House of Representatives. Aside from Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares among the judges were Gabriela Women’s Party Representative, Luzviminda Ilagan, Former Representative of Bayan Muna and now Bayan Muna President Satur Ocampo, Chairperson of Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, Ms. Amaryllis Hilao – Enriquez, Rep. Emmeline  Aglipay  of DIWA Partylist, Mrs. Rose Yu, Representative of Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc.  and wife of Rep. Victor Yu of the 1st District of Zamboanga del Sur) and Ms. Annie Nacianceno - Representative, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor.

Children who participated in the Peace Camp were also present in the event together with their parents and/or guardians.  Each group had a representative to collect their prize.  Again, none of the groups went home empty-handed with each group receiving cash prizes which were equally divided among the members of the winning group. Groceries were also distributed to the families present as well as those who were not able to attend the event but were present during the Peace Camp.  The murals were exhibited in the north wing lobby of HOR for the duration of Human Rights Week.

Prior to the peace camp, in the morning of December 5, 2010 children also participated in the Children’s Solidarity Action (CSA) spearheaded by Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns.  Through this activity, the children expressed their calls on the government to respect children’s rights and seek justice for the children whose rights have been violated. Children marched from Bustillos Church to Chino Roces Monument (former Mendiola Bridge) in Manila holding placards with their demands and calls for the new president to take necessary actions on the issues concerning children and their families. There were several children from urban poor communities and victims of human rights violations who shared their experiences and calls in the program. Particularly highlighted was the call for the release of the 43 health workers whose children were among those present and the end to CAFGU recruitment of minors in Batangas and in other areas as well.

The children from different communities in Metro Manila participated in various workshops where they tackled their rights and their situation as children from various sectors prior to the mass action in Mendiola.

 

Photos of Peace Camp 2010  

 



 

visual arts contest



 

Awarding in Congress

 

THE ARTWORKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRC Conducts National Training on Documentation, Databanking and Psychosocial First Aid For Rights Advocates

Through the support of EU and AusAid

The father was preparing to take his 12-year old son to school when a hooded gunman fired at pointblank range killing him instantly. The boy could only stare in shock and hapless as his father’s dead body lay sprawling on the bloody ground.

The incident was the cold-bloodied murder of Bayan Muna provincial coordinator Fernando Baldomero in July 6, 2010 in Lezo, Aklan. The perpetrators of the murder were believed to be agents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Unfortunately, the lone witness to the killing was “Jun-jun” (not his real name), who just lost a loving father.


Extra-Judicial killings (EJK) and human rights violations (HRV) under the government’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) II, targeting civilians – activists, journalists and lawyers, among others – remains unabated. Such counter-insurgency program not only raised statistics of dead activists but also displaced many families and communities that left many children orphaned.

The case of “Jun-jun” is just one among the many incidents where children experienced shock and trauma as collateral victims of state violence. From January 21, 2001 to June 30, 2010 during the previous government, there were 1,205 cases of EJK and children were not spared. This prompted the Children's Rehabilitation Center to respond to the needs of children victims of state violence.

On July 11 – 17, 2010, CRC conducted a National Training on Documentation, Databanking, and Psychosocial First Aid at Punta De Fabian Resort, Baras, Rizal. The weeklong training was a part of the project implemented by CRC dubbed, “Overcoming Barriers, Building  Bridges: Making Justice and Services Accessible to Children Victims of Armed Conflict Through Effective and Reliable Monitoring and Reporting of Child’s Rights Violations.” The project was supported and funded by the European Union in cooperation with AusAID, in partnership with the ARCSEA, and in association with Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concern, Gabriela, and Karapatan (Human Rights Alliance).

About 40 participants coming from different regional and outreach centers of CRC, and representatives from partner agencies such as Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concern, Association for the Rights of Children in South East Asia (ARCSEA), as well Gabriela and Karapatan from different regions attended the said national training.  The training aimed to equip workers in the field on human rights violations against children with necessary skills and techniques on documentation of cases of Human Rights violations on children.

Lawyers, human rights and child rights advocates like Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares of Bayan Muna and Atty. Gwen Pimentel-Gana of ACAP were among the resource persons who provided basic knowledge on international instruments and national laws such as the International Humanitarian Law, the International Human Right Law, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and RA 7610 among others. UNICEF verification consultants were also invited to provide an input on the verification process for the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism. Included in the training was a discussion of the Lexicon or a standardized format where the workers agreed to use as basis in documenting cases of human rights violations against children.

CRC as a part of the UNICEF Country Task Force Monitoring and Reporting on Grave Child Rights Violations has reported that 7% of the 800 plus victims of EJK are children (CRC, 2008). The numbers or statistics of HRVs against children are increasing each year that CRC decided to undertake a more technical, advance, and systematic way of documenting and reporting cases through Data Banking. The CRC Monitoring System was created with the help of Computer Professional’s Union (CPU) making databanking for CRC more organized and systematic.

CRC has been established primarily to provide psychosocial services to children of political prisoners who were observed to exhibit symptoms of trauma as a result of witnessing the violent arrest of loved ones (CRC, 2008). Through the years, it has been expanding its scope, consistent with the increasing cases of HRV on children and a Psychosocial Therapy Framework was developed to address the needs of these children. CRC took the issue of children being branded as “Child Soldiers” or “Child Combatant” even without solid evidence that affects the daily routines of these children and harbor fear and trauma even by just going to school or attending to their farms.

For this reason, the training aimed to develop and enhance the facilitation skills and techniques of workers in this field on how to conduct psychosocial first aid to children victims. Basic knowledge on the process of casework was also discussed as part of the essential document needed to be accomplished for cases of HRV on children.

In the middle of the weeklong training, the secretariat and the participants had to endure a 3-day brown-out brought about by the strong winds and heavy rains accompanying the storm “Basyang.”  The training was temporarily disrupted because the storm damaged and blew away portions of the roof of the main hall and the venue has to be moved to a smaller place. Thus, major adjustments had to be made since all the presentations were on the computer.   But even then, the passion, enthusiasm and eagerness of the participants to learn and acquire more knowledge and skills to effectively provide services and address the needs of these children victims of state violence.   The commitment of both participants and trainers made the training a success despite the inconveniences brought about by the storm.  Indeed, this is proof that the unwavering commitment and dedication of these human rights and child rights advocates to endure the “storms” will carry the whole project to its success.   ###

 

training photos

 

       the venue

  

 

 Registration..

 

   lakad-rosa, rapport building

  

 

   expectation check: creative presentation..

 

 

     Human Rights Orientation given by KARAPATAN


 

Atty. Gwen Pimentel-Gana on UN Convention for the Rights of the Child

 

small group discussion on Laws and issuances on children

 

Official opening of the training


Jacquiline Ruiz, Project Coordinator read the message                                 from CRC's Board President    


 

Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Luz Ilagan in her Keynote Speech  

 

Children from the urban-poor communities in Metro Manila and from Salinlahi Children's Collective depicting the continous child rights violations in the country 

 

Messages from the Funders

Ma. Esmeralda Macaspac, CRC Executive Director read the message of the European Commission Ambassador   


Bernadette Cariaga, Representative from the Australian Government Aid   Program (AusAid)  

 

Messages from partners and associate partners 

 

  Gertrudes Ranjo-Libang, Deputy Secretary General of Gabriela

 

   Lovella de Castro, Secretary General of KARAPATAN

 

 Karla Che Umil from Salinlahi Alliance for Children's Concerns

 

Start of the Training Proper

Atty. Neri Colminares, Bayan Muna Representative on the Overview on the International Human Rights Law

 

 

Robert McTavish from Unicef Verification Team discussed the                  UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism

 

Athea Peñaloza from Unicef Verification Team discussed the six (6) Child Rights Violations 

 

 

Children Human Rights victims hold dialogue with Commision on Human Rights

Children-victims of human rights violations from different parts of the country trooped to the office of the Commission on Human Rights this morning to present their plight resulting from militarization of their communities. "They are seeking a precious gift this Christmas from the government - that is justice. And we hope that the government will not disappoint the children this time," said Ma. Esmeralda Macaspac, Executive Director of the Children's Rehabilitation Center (CRC), a non-government organization providing psycho-social help to children-victims of human rights violations.

Children's Peace Camp 2007

Colorful face-paint designs, hand-made Christmas cards and strings of crane origami festooned the school grounds of Kalantiaw Elementary School in Project 4, Quezon City. With delightful shrieks and cheerful smiles, around 100 children and child rights advocates gathered around not only to celebrate the Christmas season but more so to give these children-victims of human rights violation a quick respite from the pain they are undergoing or have gone through as victims of human rights violation.