‘INSPIRED: Ako Para Sa Bata’
The 10th international conference Ako Para Sa Bata (Nov. 19 and 20, SMX Convention Center Manila) has the theme “INSPIRED,” an acronym that means: Implementation and enforcement of law, Norms and values, Safe environments, Parent and caregiver support, Income and economic strengthening, Response and support services, Education and life skills, and Delivery systems.
“Ending violence against children should be a priority. Studies have shown that violence against children and adolescents, the most vulnerable members of society, leads to a wide range of health and social problems,” remarked Dr. Bernadette J. Madrid, executive director, Child Protection Network (CPN) and conference president APSB in Manila. INSPIRED is an evidence-based resource for everyone committed to preventing and responding to violence against children. Including Delivery Systems highlights the multi-sectoral coordination, monitoring, and evaluation systems as cross-cutting activities that connect and strengthen the seven strategies in the original package.”
Co-presenters are UNICEF and the Council for the Welfare of Children, the Government Partner.
“The Conference will feature Evidence for Better Lives Study, an integrated research, impact and capacity-building program led by the University of Cambridge, and supported by the World Health Organization, the Global Partnership to End Violence against children and UNICEF, Dr. Madrid said.
“The study aims to generate high-quality evidence on preventing violence against children and supporting children growing up in the context of adversity so that they achieve their full potential.”
Based on eight mediumsized cities in low-income and middle-income countries across the world, the study includes Valenzuela, Bulacan, Philippines. There will be a Policy Workshop sponsored by Consuelo Foundation.
Dr. Sandra S. Hernandez, Conference chair said, “INSPIRED aims to help countries achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets that address violence against children including those that address poverty, health, gender equality, education, safe environments, and justice.”
Among the international experts featured are Dr. Alexander Butchart from the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, Professor Manuel Eisner from the University of Cambridge and Susan Walker of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
The Child Protection Network Foundation is an accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units provider for social workers and physicians.
Atty. Katrina Legarda, Director, National Network of Women and Child Protection Units, Ways and Means Committee chair explained, “Continuous training is a way of ensuring that every abused woman and child is treated with compassion and competence they truly deserve. We started AKPB conference 10 years ago with only a few hundred delegates. Last year, we reached almost 2,000!
“We invite physicians, social workers, police, teachers, guidance counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, judges, lawyers, NGO workers, parents, local government officials, and other front liners in the field of women and children protection work to join us and pledge AKO PARA SA BATA.
“We are ending the year with 105 Women and Child Protection (WCPUs) and Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) Desks in 50 provinces and 10 independent cities in the Philippines, the proceeds of the annual AKO PARA SA BATA Conference support the establishment of more WCPUs providing free direct services to based children and adolescents – 78,000 and counting,” she stated.
The Child Protection Network Foundation (CPN) is composed of professionals and individuals who are dedicated to ensuring that all children in the Philippines and throughout Asia are protected by the many faces of abuse.
The Board of Trustees: Justice Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera, Chair Emeritus; David Bradley, Chair; Irene Martel-Francisco, president.
The Trustees: Lizzy S. Razon, Dr. Elizabeth P. Melchor, Mia V. Borromeo, Julio D. Sy, Jr., Johnny L. Velasquez, William B. Go; Mons Romulo, Karina Constantino-David, Renna Hechanova-Angeles, British Amb. Daniel Robert Pruce.
Mission: The Asian Center for Child Protection in collaboration with all Child Protection Units shall serve every abused child with compassion and competence ensuring that all abused children at risk are safe healthy and developing to the best of their potential within a nurturing family environment.
Here are some facts and statistics provided by CPN:
Sexually abused children are typically 13 to 15 years old. High risk age group is 16-17 years old. Adolescents are impulsive and vulnerable to peer pressure. WCPU data show that sexual violence takes place during dating in this age group.
In the WCPUs, girl-children seeking services for sexual abuse far outnumber boy-children. Males are more likely than females to experience sexual violence at home, in school, the community, workplace, and dating. Sexual violence among boys is underreported.
The role of the school in child protection is very important, Children reach out to teachers and guidance counselors. Gappropriate life skills and personal safety lessons integrated in the school curricula — i.e. Safe Schools for Teens project — is a key strategy in developing children’s skills in protecting themselves from violence.
Sexual violence against children most often occurs in the home, the community and during dating. Neighbors and boyfriends are the most common perpetrators of sexual violence.
The lack of supervision, singleheaded households, absent parents increase the risk of sexual violence against children in the home. Risky online behavior and lack of supervision when using the internet expose children to online solicitation.
Physical violence occurs in the forms of violent discipline and non-disciplinary context. Corporal punishment or physical abuse is accepted as a norm by Filipinos.
The top three perpetrators are fathers, neighbors and strangers.
Congratulations to the dynamic organizers and generous sponsors of APSB on its 10th year!
(For information: please call the secretariat (02) 404-3954 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org website: www. childprotectionnetork.org)