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Type of document: News
Topic: Actions/initiatives/projects
Policy and Planning
Geographic descriptors: Philippines
Language: English
Publisher: www.manilatimes.net
Date of publication: 18 December 2004
Long Abstract: Alvin Tanicala of the DSWD regional office said social workers are expecting the number of child-abuse cases to double or even triple with the alarming data the agency gathered from January to June. Citing a five-year DSWD study called Children in Need of Special Protection (CNSP), Tanicala said there were 285 cases of child abuse reported to the department’s regional office in the first six months of the year, one case more than the number of cases reported in 2003. “The incidence of street children dominates the chart. These children come from urban areas like Baguio City. Child sexual abuse is second, with the highest number of incidence reported in 2000. Children in Situations of Armed Conflict and Children with Various Circumstance of Disability reported the lowest,” the CNSP reported. Although cases of child abuse in the Cordilleras declined dramatically in 2002 after peaking in 2001, Tanicala said the study again showed an increasing trend in 2003 and social workers fear that the number may double or even triple this year. Girls are the most vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse in the Cordillera with 189 cases of child abuse reported. In 2000 there were 296 abused girls compared to only 52 boys in 2001. For years now, the DSWD regional office has been lobbying for the establishment of a center for girls who are victims of abuse and a center for juveniles in conflict with the law. “This is to separate the children from adult criminals,” Tanicala said. In Baguio City alone, there were 195 cases of child abuse in 2000, 140 in 2001, 192 in 2002, 188 in 2003, and from January to June this year there are already 93 cases reported, and the Office of the City Social Welfare said it is expecting more from July to December. The community’s increasing involvement in the bodong (peace pact) of the Nabodngan tribes also resulted in the abuse of only two children in armed conflicts, according to Tanicala. Surprisingly, tribal conflict is not considered armed conflict although there are tribes in the Cordilleras that are indeed at war with other tribes, he said. From 1999 to 2003 there were 87 abandoned children, 254 neglected, 1,264 abused, 39 sexually exploited, 269 physically abused and maltreated or battered. The study said there are 863 Juveniles in Conflict with the Law (JICL). Two were in situations of armed conflict, 10 were victims of child trafficking, 726 were street children and nine others were in various circumstances of disability. A total of 3,109 cases of child abuse, the Children in Need of Special Protection are handled by the DSWD-CAR for the five-year period
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