MANILA, Philippines – Children’s rights group called out schools to take action on rampant sexual harassment in school grounds.
The said harassment issue sprung out when various children’s right abuse reports surfaced on social media.
Save the Children Philippines brought this issue up and told schools that they should safeguard the rights of children.
It said that the school’s mandate is “to effectively adopt and implement their respective child protection policies to protect children and youth in school from all forms of abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination, and bullying.”
Numerous reports aired on social media over the weekend of sexual abuses that students experienced. The said happened at the hands of teachers and professors.
Among institutions that were called out in the social media rally were Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College Highschool and St. Theresa’s College.
The said academic institutions have released their statements and promised to take action on the said harassment issues.
They assured that they will practice transparency in the pursuit of restorative justice. However, they emphasized that due process must still prevail, above all.
Save the Children Philippines CEO Alberto Muyot expressed deep concern over the issues. He said, “We are concerned that the cases posted in social media only show the tip of the iceberg as deprived and marginalized students may not have the voice and the platforms to express similar complaints.”
Safeguards for the youth
Muyot stressed that under the Departmenr of Education Order No. 40, all schools are mandated to device a system to protect children’s rights.
The DepEd Child Protection policy aims to protect children from any form of harassment or abuse within school grounds.
According to Muyot, a former education undersecretary, the said order underlines that fact that each student deserves equal rights.
He said, “To encourage more students to speak up on cases of abuse and violence, school discipline must be administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity, and in conformity with the [United Nations] Convention on the Rights of the Child.”