CPP orders NPA to enforce children’s rights, welfare

THE Communist Party of the Philippines directed all its forces including its armed wing the New People’s Army to  pursue the rights, protection and welfare of children.

The CPP issued the directive after the National Democratic Front of the Philippines came out with the Declaration and Program of Action for the Rights, Protection and Welfare of Children.

“The leadership and entire membership of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), all Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA), people’s militias and revolutionary mass organizations welcome the issuance by the NDFP of the Declaration and Program of Action for the Rights, Protection and Welfare of Children,” the  CPP said in a statement.

“With this Declaration, the CPP directs all its forces to outline more specific policies, programs of action and plans to address the needs and demands of children within their scope,” the statement said.

Through this Declaration, the revolutionary forces underscore their determination to advance the rights and welfare of the Filipino child, in line with the cause of advancing the national democratic revolution and people’s war. Indeed, one can say that the Philippine revolution is being carried out, ultimately, to build a liberated nation and society in the interest of Filipino children, the group said.

Luis Jalandoni, chair of the NDFP Negotiation panel, said the declaration sets “the policies of the People’s Democratic Government and outlines a program of action to benefit the Filipino child. Even now, children and their parents are reaping the benefits of the future society being built and cultivated in the guerrilla zones and areas being administered by the revolutionary people’s democratic government as represented by the NDFP.”

The issuance of the declaration came on heels after a government survey made by the National Statistics Office showed  that about 3 million Filipino children are employed in the most hazardous forms of work. Based on the 2011 Survey on Children of the NSO, the current number of children working in hazardous jobs grew from 2.4 million back in 2001.  Of  the 29 million Filipino children (aged 5-17 years old), 5.5 million are employed in various forms of labor.

“It is thus timely for the NDFP to issue its Declaration on Children in order to boost efforts by mass organizations, human rights groups, children’s rights advocates, agencies and non-governmental organizations to draw attention to the plight of the Filipino child amidst the Aquino regime’s war of suppression. They can use the NDFP’s Declaration on Children as an additional reference and document to fight for the rights of the child,” the statement.

The CPP said the NDFP Declaration on Children stands in stark contrast to the anti-child policies of the reactionary regime. Under the class rule of the big landlords and big bourgeois compradors, the great majority of Filipino children suffer grave hardships and oppression. Their conditions worsen as the chronic crisis of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system continues unabated.

The group said the Philippine government violates the children’s rights in every respect citing among others an acute shortage of facilities for children’s health care and education.

“Low income levels and increasing costs of living have resulted in serious and widespread health and nutritional problems among children. Grave social conditions have also forced large numbers of children to become laborers and work under dangerous conditions for a pittance. Children are forced into the streets by the lack of sports and cultural facilities. As the socio-economic crisis worsens, more and more children are drawn to petty thievery and other crimes, usually under the direction of criminal syndicates with police protection,’ the CPP said.


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