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Bangsamoro gov't supports global CRC treaty

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 15:45 PM Thu Nov 21, 2019
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By: 
John M. Unson
Bangsamoro children joined the event, held in Cotabato City. (Contributed photo)

COTABATO CITY --- Sectors in the Bangsamoro region promised Wednesday to promote the global children’s right treaty while restoring normalcy in conflict-stricken communities.

The symbolic pledging rite was one of the highlights in Wednesday’s commemoration here of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, more known as the CRC.

The CRC is touted as the world’s most widely ratified human rights treaty.

Hundreds of children from different schools accompanied by teachers joined Wednesday’s event here, organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund and other foreign benefactors with the help of the Bangsamoro government.

The pledges of support for the promotion of CRC in the newly-created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were read by representatives from BARMM, from blocs of peace and conflict-sensitive journalists and from local and international non-government organizations involved in humanitarian projects benefitting the local communities.

Members of the Bangsamoro parliament and the region’s Islamic mufti (grand preacher) Abu Huraira Udasan also participated in the activity.

Representatives from UNICEF told reporters Wednesday “child poverty” is highest in BARMM based on statistical profiles covering all regions in the country

The BARMM has 63.1 percent child poverty rate, twice higher than the national average of 31.4 percent.

The figures indicate that 1.6 million out of 2.5 million children in BARMM are living below the poverty line.

No fewer than 200,000 children in BARMM’s five provinces --- Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi --- are not in school, according to the sources.

Only one in five children enrolled in schools complete elementary education while thousands more of adolescents are out due to internecine conflicts and extreme poverty, stated a handout reference material the sources provided.

The information material also indicated that around 300,000 children in BARMM are malnourished and that a big number of them do not have access to restrooms at home and in schools. 

Senior staff members of BARMM’s Bureau of Public Information said Wednesday Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim will embark on programs meant to promote children’s welfare in all of the region’s five provinces and two cities --- Lamitan and Marawi.

The BARMM also covers 63 barangays in North Cotabato province in Region 12 whose residents voted for the inclusion of their villages in the region during a plebiscite early this year.

BARMM Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the Bangsamoro leadership is deeply aware of the situation of children in areas ravaged by recurring conflicts since the early 1970s.

Sinarimbo, a human rights lawyer, said the BARMM government will focus attention on improving the welfare of Muslim, Christian and Lumad children through comprehensive inter-agency programs.

He said their education and social welfare program for children are to be closely coordinated with foreign organizations and agencies of the United Nations operating in the region. []

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