City, 27 October 2005 --- Jail is no place for a child.
The call to give
children in conflict with the law a second chance is now slowly
gaining ground after two Philippine Senate committees approved
the proposed bill on the Comprehensive Juvenile Justice System
in just one joint meeting.
The Senate committees
on justice and human rights and on youth, women and family
relations read the bill and deliberated its merits.
Senate Bill 1402
is based on the principle of restorative justice which reconciles
the offender with the victim and the community and assures
the offender's reintegration into society. It considers a
prison term as a last resort in dealing with a juvenile in
conflict with the law.
The bill was first
sponsored by Sen. Francis Pangilinan in the 12th Congress
but no action was taken because of the May 2004 elections.
In the current Congress, Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo Madrigal
will be the principal sponsor.
"We need a
comprehensive juvenile justice system so we can properly protect
and reform our youthful offenders," Pangilinan said at
a visit in a jail in Caloocan City.
bill remains one of the unfinished businesses of the Philippines
as a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child,"
said UNICEF Representative Nicholas Alipui.
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For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
UNICEF Manila, 901 0177 or 0917 866 4969, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNICEF Manila, 901 0173 or 0917 858 9447, email@example.com