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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