What happened to the children after the Typhoon Yolanda? UNICEF announced two commemorative events this November to enlighten the situation of children's rights in the Philippines. A year after Typhoon Yolanda and UNICEFs 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child(CRC) gives the country an opportunity to look back on the gains and challenges of growing up in a country facing multiple disasters, amidst a rapidly changing and socio-economic reality. The CRC, the most widely ratified international human rights treaty is focused on protecting and promoting children's rights to survival, development, protection and participation. Countries that have adopted the CRC - including the Philippines- are bound by its international laws and are required to always act in the best interest of children. According to Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF representative in the Philippines, the country made a set of promises to children when it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. While more and more Filipino are growing happy and healthy, looking back on 25 years of progress reminds us what is still left to do and how the vision for the Filipino children must shape up, she said.
The effect of disasters on the well-being of children is one of the key challenges facing Filipino children today and close to six million were affected when the country experienced Super Typhoon Yolanda, the biggest typhoon in history.
A photo exhibit will be launched to commemorate the one year anniversary of the typhoon entitled, "Through the eyes of children: Stories of hope and resilience in Tacloban" on November 6, 2014 in Tacloban City with UNICEF photographer Giacomo Pirozzi. Through his photos, Mr. Pirozzi teaches children living in post-disaster situation to voice their experience and emotions paving the way to healing, self-discovery and social participation. For the CRC's 25th anniversary on November 20, 2014, UNICEF in partnership with the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will hold a commemorative event to spark conversations on the achievements, challenges and vision for a child-friendly Philippines. A stock taking report will be presented by the Philippine government with children, partners, local governments, media and child rights advocates in attendance. I missed the media launch because of my teaching load but my heart goes out to the affected children after-Haiyan(Typhoon Yolanda). We should not miss this significant event to reveal what had the country done to them. After all, promoting the rights of the child should always be any time and every time. For more information, please visit http://www.unicef.ph/.