Child on Crime

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Erinroa
Words 2120
Pages 9
Children in crime: Cracks in the country's juvenile justice system

By: Annie Ruth C. Sabangan, InterAksyon.com

Oct.9, 2011..www.interaksyon.com/article/14780/children-in-crime-cracks-in-the-countrys-juvenile-justice-system

MANILA, Philippines – How do you make criminals out of children? Put them in areas where they won’t be able to meet their basic needs for food, water, shelter, health care, education and sanitation. Strip them of their rights to develop and maintain a life of dignity so that they’ll grow up uneducated and unemployed. Mire them in places where there is no solution to despair and destitution.

In the Philippines, where the plight of majority of the poor remains largely unaddressed, many places become breeding grounds for youth offenders. While many of these children were able to rise from the rut---proving that poverty isn’t a justifiable excuse for committing crime--thousands of other juveniles have failed to get out of the trap and are forced to break the law primarily to survive.

At the Center for Restorative Activities Development and Learning Experiences (CRADLE) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City, most of the 74 male children aged 15 and above who are accused of crimes come from poor families, mostly from depressed areas in Paranaque, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, San Juan, and Malabon. The place is run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

“Pinakamaraming kaso ng mga bata sa amin ay crime against property tulad ng theft at robbery. Galing sila sa pamilyang mahihirap…hindi sila nakapag-aral. Kailangan nilang tumulong sa pamilya, kailangang kumita ng pera," says Norma Marcelino, social welfare officer of CRADLE where children in conflict with the law (CICL) are being housed while their cases are being heard in family courts.

[Most of the cases involving…...

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