UNICEF statement on children killed and wounded in Pikit, North Cotabato Attributable to UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov
UNICEF is deeply concerned by the reported shooting incident that killed one child and injured two while on their way home from school in Pikit, North Cotabato. We offer our condolences to the family of the 13 year-old boy who died yesterday. The killing of innocent children is unacceptable and must stop.
Children must be protected at all times and their best interests must be the guiding principles in every action by government and the community. Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, the Philippines including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has a legal and moral obligation to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of every child.
In situations of violence and conflict children continue to pay a heavy price. Between 2005 and 2020, the United Nations verified over 266,000 grave violations against children in more than 30 conflict situations around the world. In the Philippines, the Secretary General’s report on Children and Armed Conflict in July 2022 revealed that 67 children have been killed and injured between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021.
Conflict robs children of their life and childhood. Violence threatens children’s lives and well-being. They are denied access to education and essential services, and live in an atmosphere of fear. We need to end violence. Children are zones of peace.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. In more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph.