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Our history

© UNICEF Philippines/2008/Francia
UNICEF began working for children's rights in the Philippines in 1948.

1946   UNICEF is created by the United Nations to provide emergency aid to children after World War II.
1948   UNICEF begins its work in the Philippines, one of the first four UNICEF offices in Asia. 

1979   UNICEF begins the First Country Programme for Children (CPC 1) in the Philippines. The agency goes beyond emergency care to long-term development work – health, nutrition, education, and local development projects for children.

1984   The first case of HIV infection in the Philippines is reported.

1986   President Corazon Aquino issues Executive Order 51 or the Philippine Milk Code.
The law promotes breastfeeding and ensures optimal health for infants.

1990   The Philippines ratifies the Convention on the Rights of the Child – what would become the most widely accepted human rights treaty in history (to date, it has been accepted by 192 countries). The Philippines is the 31st country to adopt it.

1991   President Corazon Aquino signs the World Declaration on the Survival Protection and Development of Children. The Framework for the National Plan of Action for Children is launched.
1992   The Philippine Senate passes Republic Act 7600 or Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act.

1995   The ASIN law (An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide), is signed into law to combat iodine deficiency disorders.

2000   The Philippines is certified as polio-free.

2000   The Philippines adopts the framework for the development of local policies and plans for children, also known as “Child 21”.

2000   The Early Childhood Care and Development Act is signed into law. It protects the right of every young child to learn.
2001   President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vows to put children first in her administration agenda. Her anti-poverty plan focuses on early childhood care and education. The Global Movement “Say Yes for Children” is launched in Manila.

2003   The Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 is signed into law.

2006   The Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act is signed into law.

2007   The Days of Peace Campaign, an advocacy visit to deliver basic services for children in situations of armed conflict, was held in Mindanao with popular rock band and UNICEF National Ambassador Bamboo.

2008   The UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy visits the Philippines to assess the situation of children in armed conflict. The SRSG enters into an agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to release children from their ranks.



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