Positive feedback on CHR's involvement at the SDC

Since early August, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Bacolod City has been providing weekly services to the Social Development Center and the children taken into protective custody. This public organization, introduced in an article last month, has partnered with SDC and HOST-NGO. The CHR aims at raising awareness on children's rights and ensuring that these rights are fully observed within the center.

Following the first two months of this partnership, we have conducted a quick overview of the activities led by Mr. Romeo Baldevarona, CHR supervisor, and Mrs. Gina Alli, investigator and CHR officer. The first sessions have been dedicated to raising awareness on their own rights for every child catered at the SDC. The objective is to inform the children on their right for protection, especially in case of child abuse or exploitation committed by adults. The issue of child labour and child trafficking was also discussed by the CHR members and the children at the SDC. These activities showed to be perfectly adapted to the youth's needs and challenges as many of them have a disadvantaged social background and have been facing such issues. Our young beneficiaries have been carefully listening to the various testimonies and advice, and even shared their own experience with the other participants.

The CHR has also been conducting two sessions on individualized legal support targeting the children in conflict with the law who are dealing with a court case. This activity aims at informing each targeted child on his/her particular situation, rights and duties, so that he/she understands the issues at stake and take the necessary decisions to fulfill his/her own interests. As of today, a dozen young people have been supported thanks to the CHR's useful explanation and advice, in addition to the daily follow-up provided by SDC's social workers.

The coming activities will be dedicated to carry on this awareness project while working on another important topic: staff training on issues related to child-rights protection. Seminars will be held by the CHR members to help SDC's team to offer better services to answer the specific needs of their young beneficiaries and reduce the risk of child abuse.

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Support program for vulnerable children and families in Bacolod City

The objective is to design and implement a development program supporting the disadvantaged members of the community of Bacolod City, Philippines. This approach is based on the observation of best practices identified in various projects implemented in Southeast Asia and in the rest of the world. The program aims at providing rehabilitation opportunities to isolated children and families in order to facilitate their successful integration into the local community. This includes dealing with social inclusion, socioeconomic development, public health, sustainable production and consumption, as well as green technologies.