Child Protection





More children in the Philippines are becoming victims of abuse, violence and exploitation. In addition, the country lacks a national child protection monitoring and reporting system to determine the exact number of children in need of special protection, such as victims of abuse, violence and exploitation.

Despite recent economic gains, 36.8 per cent of the population still lives in poverty, with 47.5 per cent living on less than US$ 2 per day. Poverty has pushed many children to work to fend for their families, which usually places them in situations of abuse and exploitation. According to a 2009 study by the National Statistical Coordination Board, at least 4 in 10 Filipino children live in poverty. It noted that poverty is highest among children of fisher folk, farmers, migrants and workers in the informal sector.

Children affected by armed conflict is also a concern. It is estimated that 30,000–50,000 children in the Philippines are displaced every year as a result of armed conflict. Basic services in most conflict-affected communities are often either absent or severely deficient. This situation has driven some children to become involved with armed groups.


UNICEF continues to:

  • Work with child protection councils at local levels of government to provide a safe and protective environment for vulnerable children and children victims of abuse, exploitation and violence;
  • Help educate families to prevent abuse, violence and exploitation, and enable children-at-risk to protect themselves through rescue, healing and recovery services;
  • Support the development and strengthening of child protection networks at community, local and national levels;
  • Help children-at-risk and victims of abuse and exploitation access educational opportunities, life skills training, vocational training, and HIV and AIDS prevention education, health services and psychosocial interventions; and help build the capacity of professionals working with and for these children; and
  • Develop peace advocates among children in conflict areas and provide them with opportunities to express themselves. 


  • In 2006, all children jailed in Metro Manila and Cebu province were taken out of adult prison cells.
  • The Supreme Court has adopted child-sensitive rules and procedures in courts to spare children the trauma of testifying and coming face-to-face with their abusers.
  • The National Police has included into its detective management course a module on child-sensitive investigation.
  • The President issued an executive order mandating the inclusion of peace education in basic education.                                     







Real lives

Michelle, 16, lives alongside one of Manila’s largest garbage dumps. Her mother can’t afford to send her to school.
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Caridad, 12, lives at a halfway house for abused children. She was raped by six neighbours in her village.
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