No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

Strengthening Juvenile Justice: Duty-Bearers Ensure Detention Facilities Protect the Rights of CICLs

Children are the most vulnerable members of society, and ensuring their protection and well-being is a fundamental responsibility of any child-friendly nation.

In the Philippines, child protection has been a growing concern, and the juvenile justice system plays a pivotal role in addressing this issue. This feature explores the challenges and progress of child protection and the juvenile justice system in the Philippines, highlighting the importance of safeguarding the future of the country's youth.

A juvenile justice system focused on protecting children should only look at detention as a last resort, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

To help children in conflict with the law (CICL) take responsibility for their actions and rebuild their relationships with the community and the victim, the primary focus should be rehabilitating and reintegrating them into society in the most humane way possible.

In line with this, and to strenghten the Philippines' child protection efforts, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) organized a two-day lecture and workshop focused on improving the monitoring of detention facilities in the Philippines last October 10-11 in Brentwood Suites, Quezon City.

The participants of this event are duty-bearers from the National Capital Region (NCR), CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA. Duty-bearers typically refer to individuals or organizations responsible for ensuring the rights and well-being of children in the justice system, such as government agencies, social workers, or other relevant stakeholders.

Monitoring detention facilities is crucial for ensuring that CICLs’ rights and well-being are protected and that these facilities operate following existing laws and regulations. This procedure is especially significant given the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act or the Republic Act (RA) 9344.

The participants engaged in a practical exercise, including simulated monitoring of detention facilities on the first day of the workshop and lecture. This exercise aimed to assess the effectiveness of the present monitoring tool and to find any shortcomings or inadequacies that needed to be addressed and improved.

Participants in the simulated monitoring activity had hands-on experience with the monitoring tool and identified areas for improvement within detention facilities. They contributed to the continued improvement of the monitoring process. This realistic strategy has the potential to result in more effective and thorough monitoring of facilities to safeguard the rights and well-being of CICLs.

On the second day of the session, participants moved from the simulated activity to real-life experiences by visiting actual detention facilities. This gave them a deep understanding of the environment, practices, and issues that CICLs may encounter in these facilities. The purpose of the field visit was to validate or extend the findings of the simulated exercise. It was a chance to determine if the shortcomings revealed in the simulation also existed in actual detention facilities and to evaluate the monitoring tool's practicality in a live scenario.

The emphasis on restorative justice has led to innovative programs, such as diversion, mediation, and community service, which aim to rehabilitate children in conflict with the law while holding them accountable for their actions.

There are also ongoing training for law enforcement, social workers, and judicial personnel is essential to ensure a more child-friendly justice system.

Moreover, various government and non-government organizations are working tirelessly to raise awareness about child rights and advocate for improved child protection measures.

The Philippines has been actively collaborating with international organizations and agencies to share best practices and receive support for improving its juvenile justice system.

Child protection in the Philippines has seen significant improvements in recent years, thanks to the passage of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (RA 9344). This landmark legislation established a comprehensive framework for dealing with children in conflict with the law, emphasizing restorative justice and rehabilitation over punitive measures. 

Enacted on May 20, 2006, and subsequently revised in 2013, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act also champions establishing a child-friendly justice system that prioritizes restoration and rehabilitation over severe punishment. (PIA-NCR)

About the Author

Gelaine Louise Gutierrez

Information Officer II


Feedback / Comment

Get in touch