Almost half of the population in the Philippines are children. With a population growth rate of nearly 2 per cent per year, the government has a difficult task in providing children with enough resources to ensure their rights. The Philippines are making significant progress in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Still, poverty coupled with political violence pose serious challenges to children. The total number of poor Filipino families is estimated at 27 per cent.1

Children on the streets

The country has a high number of street children. According to UNICEF estimates approximately 250 000 children are living on the streets 2 and about 3,7 million children are working.3 Human trafficking is a serious problem in the Philippines. Aside from being a source country for human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, it is also a transit and destination country. Between 60 000 and 100 000 children are trafficked annually, most of them girls. Children are recruited by agents from poor families in rural areas, who send their daughters to the city to earn money.4The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child points out the weakness in the legislation, as the minimum age of sexual consent is not clearly enough established in domestic legislation and the Revised Penal Code (Republic Act No. 3815) imposes maximum penalties for sexual offences when the victim is under 12 years of age, but imposes lower penalties for sexual offences against minors over 12 years of age.5

Children in conflict

The political violence continues to affect children in the country. Local authorities have been involved in death-squad operations targeting children.6 There are also reports of children being used by government linked paramilitaries and armed opposition. Children, sometimes as young as 11 years old, have been recruited by armed rebel movements, such as the New People’s Army, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Abu Sayyaf Group, to serve as combatants, spies, guards, cooks or medics. According to 2005 estimates, up to 13 per cent of the armed group MILF’s 10,000 members were children.7


The age of criminal responsibility is 9 years. Despite legislative and procedural safeguards put in place in 2006 with the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, children in detention are imprisoned together with adults in poor detention conditions, increasing the risk of physical or sexual abuse.8 The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is alarmed over the increasing reports of cases of child abuse and neglect and the notable deficiencies in domestic legislation as regards penalizing all forms of abuse, neglect and mistreatment, including sexual abuse. This includes alleged cases of sexual abuse of children in the framework of religious institutions. There are also a number of reported cases of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of children, particularly of children in detention. Many children below the age of 18 are placed with adults in detention.9

Search results (Showing items 1 through 10 of 136)

  1. Child Protection in Emergencies Facts and Figures

    Compiled by the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG), this report presents facts and figures on child protection in emergencies. Data was collected for the 42 countries that have a Humanitarian Coordinator or that were on the Inter-Agency's Standing Comm

    Publication year: 2015 Publisher(s): CPWG, The Child Protection Working Group

  2. In the Philippines... Positive Discipline Poster

    This poster provides statistics and information about corporal punishment in the Philippines, with particular regard to the tolerance of corporal punishment in the home. Further information is provided on the concept of Positive Discipline.

    Publication year: 2015 Publisher(s): Save the Children

  3. Family and Parenting Support: Policy and Provision in a Global Context

    Children’s wellbeing is intrinsically linked to parental well-being, and thus investment in all families, complemented by targeted support for the most vulnerable, is of paramount importance for realizing the rights of the child. In cooperation with the C

  4. Childhood Without Violence: Brief for Senators

    A bill to end corporal punishment against all children and promote positive discipline is pending at the Senate in the Philippines. The aim of the bill is not to punish parents and caregivers, but to send a clear message that violence against children is

    Publication year: 2015 Publisher(s): Save the Children

  5. Securing the Rights of Girls and Boys in Urban Poor Relocation Programs

    In September 2009, tropical storm Ondoy (known internationally as Ketsana) caused devastation in Metro Manila, Philippines. Flooding in low-lying areas and storm surges affecting coastal communities have become more frequent. Overcrowded, high-risk commun

  6. Violence Against Children is Preventable, Poster

    Violence against children is preventable. This poster shares information about violence against children, the costs and impact it has on individuals as well as society. Spreading awareness, the poster also provides information on how Save the Children is

    Publication year: 2015 Publisher(s): Save the Children

  7. Typhoon Haiyan Response Two Years On

    Two years into our response, Save the Children continues to work on the rehabilitation of communities that were affected by super typhoon Haiyan. We are now transitioning to development programming and our remaining interventions are focused on disaster r

    Publication year: 2015 Publisher(s): Save the Children Philippines

  8. Literacy Boost Metro Manila Endline Report March 2015

    This report examines the results of a learner background survey and reading assessment conducted in Metro Manila prior to beginning the Literacy Boost intervention and again after a year of implementation. The baseline survey and reading assessment covere

    Publication year: 2015 Publisher(s): Save the Children
    Author(s): Dunlop, Maggie

  9. Child-Centered Climate Resistance: Case studies from the Philippines and Vietnam

    This report outlines the practical lessons learned by Plan International and Save the Children about child-centred community-based adaptation (CC-CBA) to climate change. It provides a snapshot of their work across the Philippines and Vietnam and addresses

    Publication year: 2015 Publisher(s): Save the Children | Plan International

  10. Breastfeeding: Policy Matters

    The health outcomes of breastfeeding and the risks of not breastfeeding for infants, mothers, families and society are well established. In high-, middle- and low-income countries, breastfeeding promotes optimal mental and physical development and prevent