Barangays continue their advocacy to implement the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act and to promote children's rights

Written by Georgia Sacrez, Jsa Turabillia and Ma. Luisa Bautista
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Last Aug. 16, the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (HLAF) Center for Restorative Action (CRA) initiated the Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting with partner barangays from Malabon City and Navotas City held at the Barangay Dampalit Multipurpose Hall.

The TWG meeting was conducted by HLAF Team as part of the CRA-Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) Training in monitoring and mentoring strategies with the partner barangays.

Representatives from the BCPC partner barangays in Malabon and Navotas gathered at the TWG meeting were from Brgy. Tañong, Brgy. Tanza, Brgy. San Agustine, Brgy. Hulong Duhat, Brgy. Dampalit, Brgy. Longos, Brgy. Baritan, Brgy. West Navotas and Brgy. Tangos.

Before proceeding to the barangays’ report, HLAF Community Organizer, Ms. Emy Torrefiel led the discussion on the needed forms and requirements for the annual Juvenile Justice Volunteers’ Congress. This year’s JJVos theme “Sa Tulong ng Aktibong Pakikilahok ng JJVo, Tamang Pagpapatupad ng JJWA ay Masisigurado” focuses on the impact of the involvement of children and youth in the juvenile delinquency prevention and implementation of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act at the community level. Also, this year will mark the fifth year of conducting the Juvenile Justice Volunteers (JJVos) Congress. It will also be an avenue for the participants to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act being one of the landmark legislations in the country.

BCPCs’ representatives from partner barangays of Malabon and Navotas reported their progress and statistics about the children in conflict with the law and children at risk cases. Some barangays also mentioned their interventions that helped them to lessen the CAR and CICL cases in their barangay. Different reports are as follows:

Barangay Tañong

Barangay Tañong shared one of the activities that their BCPC members are doing in their barangay. The barangay have an activity on scavenging of goods to contribute in their BCPC funds.

Barangay Tanza

Barangay Tanza reported that last July, their barangay held their organized BCPC seminar and BCYA committee. Also, to help the CICLs and CARs, Barangay Tanza conducted a clean-up drive and gardening involving CICLs and CARs in their barangay.

Barangay San Agustin 

Ms. Carol, a volunteer of BCPC from Brgy. San Agustine, stand as a representative of their barangay to report their program of “pagpapa-aral” for the CICLs and CARs to help them build their ground on education. She also mentioned the success story of one of the cases they handled in the barangay. The case of a 17 year old was a former CICL and today, he is now helping his parents in their everyday activities.

Barangay Hulong Duhat

Baragay Kagawad Vlady Garcia presented the reports and updates on the barangay’s statistic report of 88 curfew cases and zero case on CICL and CAR. He also shared that the barangay have two latest success stories. According to Kagawad Garcia, the counseling program is the first step in their intervention for their CICL and CAR cases. Also, the barangay’s BCPC have a list of names of CICLs and CARs for the continuous monitoring and visitation.

Barangay Dampalit

According BCPC Focal Person of Barangay Dampalit, Ms. Kimberly Fernandez Jugo) noted that their barangay held sports festival and livelihood program of paper bags for their youth as part of their intervention. To date, the barangay don’t have existing CICL and CAR cases.

Barangay Longos

Barangay Kagawad Edna Morit presented the barangay’s organized list of CICL and CAR cases data on their log book. She also mentioned the step by step intervention program for their CAR and CICL cases.

Barangy Baritan

To date, Barangay Baritan reported that their barangay currently have a record of one CICL case and six CAR cases.

Barangay West Navotas

The success story of Barangay West Navotas was presented by Mr. Manuel Salao, a BCPC representative from Baranagay West Navotas. He shared how they were able to attain their new BCPC headquarters. Also, he reported that as of to date, the barangay have zero record of CICL and CAR cases.

Barangay Tangos, Navotas

Ms. Geraldine Gonzales presented the update of Barangay Tangos’ BCPC program. The issue that the barangay was currently focused on was on teenage pregnancy inclined with the increasing cases of CICL in their barangay.

 

In the later part of the activity in the TWG meeting, the partner barangays were divided into groups according to their batch. HLAF’s Senior Social Worker and HLAF’s Senior Community Organizer, Mr. Luis Singgangan, RSW and Ms. Claudette Almadin, RSW, asked the group to write a position paper on the BCPCs stand about the lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) from 15 years old to 9 years old. They explained how the position paper can be used and what will be the content of the paper.

 

HLAF considered the TWG meeting as a successful and good update from the BCPCs of partner barangays from Malabon and Navotas. HLAF looks forward in the future works of the barangays in working together for juvenile justice. 

HLAF conducts TWG Meeting with Malabon, Navotas

Written by Ma. Luisa Bautista
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Malabon City, Philippines - The Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation (HLAF) initiated the Technical Working Group (TWG) Meeting of HLAF’s Center for Restorative Action (CRA) and partner barangays from Malabon City and Navotas City held at Brgy. Santulan Daycare Center last June 28.

The TWG Meeting was conducted to introduce the new forms of Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) to the barangays and to identify the problems that the partner barangays encounter and try to address them. The TWG Meeting was also organized to ask the barangays what will be their next step after HLAF had left the partnership with their respective barangays. 

HLAF’s CRA Team started the program by discussing the new forms of BCPC to the barangays followed by the discussion of the grades in their Performance Meter. In line with this, barangay representatives have stated that they listened to the discussion not only to improve their BCPCs but also to improve the community service in their barangays.

After the discussion, the CRA Team let the partner barangays from Malabon and Navotas to discuss the possible strategies of each barangay after HLAF had left the partnership. Throughout the discussion, it surfaced the strategy of the partner barangays from Malabon City to aspire the creation of a BCPC Federation. The aspired BCPC Federation was concluded in the meeting to push through as much as electing their first set of temporary officers. The elected officers are consisted of BCPC Focal Persons from barangays.

The CRA Team believes that the conclusion of the TWG Meeting is a good sign both for HLAF and the partner barangays since HLAF’s partnership with their respective cities are about to end soon. Also, the meeting signals the willingness of the partners to sustain the BCPC systems like the TWG Meeting and BCPC Kamustahan that HLAF has started with them. 

HLAF participates in the 3rd Abolitionist Asia Workshop on Death Penalty

Written by Luis Singgangan
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The workshop gathered forty (40) country representatives who are abolitionists, human rights advocates, criminal defence lawyers, NGO workers, social workers and researchers. These countries include Taiwan ROC, Hong Kong SAR, China PR, Japan, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and France.

 

Taipei, Taiwan – Last October 21 – 23, 2016, two social workers of Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation (HLAF), were among the forty participants who gathered to take part in the 3rd Abolitionist Workshop on Death Penalty.

The workshop was organized by Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP) and Anti - Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN). The Judicial Reform Foundation of Taiwan co-organized the said workshop. HLAF Senior Social Worker, Mr. Luis Singgangan and HLAF Senior Community Organizer, Ms. Claudette Almadin were the representatives from HLAF.

The workshop strives to provide a forum for Asian abolitionists to equip the less experienced activists and less established groups with skills and expertise on campaigning methods, and to learn new knowledge and share with each other of their best practices. It also aims to strengthen the connections and formulate a regional campaign strategy for the abolition of the death penalty in Asia.

The sessions were conducted with lectures, team work, demonstrations, and discussions during the three – day program which comprises Countries Report (latest updates, and challenges), Skill Sharing, input of Death Penalty Knowledge, and development of Campaign strategies.

Among the shared learnings and experiences from the resource speakers include alternative ways on how to campaign and respond to social media on urgent DP cases, mobilizing the youth in the abolitionist movement through information campaign to increase their awareness, issues relating to working with lawyers in death row, and developing strategies on how to reach out and work together with partners and networks, either locally or internationally.

The workshop was indeed a learning and sharing process for the purposes of improving skills and further collaboration.

HLAF social workers, Mr. Luis L. Singgangan, RSW and Ms. Claudette A. Almadin, RSW, in one of the sessions during the 3rd Abolitionist Workshop.

 

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) is a regional network composed of lawyers, NGOs, civil society groups, human rights defenders and activists committed to working for the abolition of the death penalty across Asia and the Pacific. ADAPN was launched in 2006 on the World Day against the Death Penalty in Hong Kong and formally registered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2014. ADPAN is a growing active network with members from at least 28 countries and cities, such as Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, and Vietnam.

TAEDP is a coalition of various Taiwanese abolitionist NGOs, research institutes and individuals. Launched in September 2003 by the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Judicial Reform Foundation, and the Chang Fo-chuan Center for the Study of Human Rights, the Taipei Bar Association, and Amnesty International Taiwan Section, the Alliance promotes the reform of Taiwan’s penal system and advocates the abolition of the death penalty. TAEDP is an active member of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network and the World Coalition against the Death Penalty.

 

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BS Social Work students as interns at HLAF

Written by Ma. Luisa Bautista
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Seven fourth year BS Social Work students from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) start their internship at the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (HLAF) today, Nov. 7.

In partial fulfillment of the Field Instruction II (Practicum II) course, it requires students with a minimum of 700 hours practical training in social work practice with communities focused on working with a large collectivity (60-150 families). Students during the field placement are expected to demonstrate skills in community organizing, linking needs and resources, documentation, research and leadership development and training. The internship is within November 2016 to March 2017.

The Field Instruction II (Practicum II) in PLM this second semester is under the course instructor, Ms. Claudette Almadin, RSW. On the other hand, the agency supervisor for the internship is HLAF Senior Social Worker, Mr. Luis Singgangan, RSW.

The students are Christy Anne Garcia, Daisy Ramos, Shahanna Rose Jacquez, Kathryna Sarmiento, Therese Mae Aviles, Jenny Kim Ramirez and Bernadeth Neuvas. The interns are assigned to different HLAF partner barangays to apply the social work practices in the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC).  Also, they are welcome to visit jails and meet detainees to explore the two other programs of HLAF- the Jail Decongestion program and Focused Reintegration for Ex-Detainees (FRED) program.

 

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HLAF attends Human Rights and Drug Policy Workshop at the University of Hong Kong

Written by Atty. Mary Catherine Alvarez
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The Open Society Foundation and the Centre for Criminology of the University of Hong Kong organized a workshop on Human Rights and Drug Policy in East Asia at the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong SAR from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

The workshop was attended by representatives from government, the academe, media, non-government and civil society organizations from all over Asia, including Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. HLAF’s Program Officer, Atty. Kristoffer Claudio, and Regional Jail Decongestion Officer, Atty. Mary Catherine Alvarez, were among the participants from the Philippines.

The workshop provided training on human rights and the evolution of drug policies as well as case studies of drug policies from various countries all over the world and how it has affected specific sectors and concerns such as women, HIV/AIDS and public health.