Safe Space

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We have monsters in Congress who wants to punish children, as young as nine years old for its failure to put in place an environment where they can grow without being used by adults for criminal activities.

It wants to incarcerate children not only for the failure of its parents to raise them well but also from the implications of an impoverished society which they did not choose to be in. It wants to wash its hands from the responsibility of putting in place the social infrastructure and criminal justice system that would restore the dignity of the human person.

It just wants to aim at and maim children.

It wants to maintain the mediocre and utter incompetence of government officials and politicians who only milk the government coffers. And to let politicians off the hook from their sense of accountability.

Children are being made to suffer.  Some more.

Today, January 21, Congress moves to repeal the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, which exempts children 15 years old and younger from criminal liability.    Lawmakers would want to have it easy to pounce on children and not work their way to ensure that law enforcers would apprehend the adults behind the crime.

It easy to prey on children.  It is easy not to take the responsibility.

Like anything else, it is easy not to take accountability for our own shortcomings and blame other people instead. Retribution is the easiest route where taking responsibility to right the wrong should be.

For a long time, there remains an inability to truly understand and fully appreciate the human rights of children. We have witnessed the deplorable situation of children in jails who are left at the mercy of adult criminals. There is no sense in going any way lower than it had.

Child-centered governance demands full accountability from adults in respected position of power and decision making. From the placid compliance of the Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPCs), lawmakers could have taken the higher road by strengthening these mechanisms towards a restorative juvenile justice system.  With local government units, ensure that diversion and counseling programs are available not only for children in conflict with the law but with the family.

Efforts should make the current law work for, instead of against the children.  Where there are dysfunctional families and justice systems, there is no point to castigate children for the collective failure to make the environment fit for them.  Decision makers could not wash its hands from the failure to provide the safe space for children to become responsible adults, and we could not watch in the sideline as monsters prey.  

Email comments to roledan@gmail.com

 

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