BACOLOD CITY (PIA)— Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary for Statutory Programs under Operations Group Elaine F. Fallarcuna said the task of reforming a child in conflict involves a holistic approach.
During the recent kick-off ceremony of the 11TH Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week (JJWC) in Talisay City, she said children committing crimes are influenced by their environment, and the task of preventing crimes to happen needs the support of the family, community, and government intervention programs.
Fallacurna noted that the rehabilitation of a Child In Conflict with the Law (CICL) includes the family also so that when the child is reintegrated back into society, the family is already prepared for the process.
“It is significant to note that when we work with children we need to ensure that their rights are respected and their best welfare given paramount consideration, this applies to children in conflict with the law who most especially need our special protection and assistance,” she said.
For her part, Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) Executive Director Atty. Tricia Clare A. Oco urged duty bearers such as the police, social workers, and barangay personnel to use the Management Information System (MIS) which is the key to having accurate statistics of children who are in conflict with the law.
The recent figure JJWC released of CICL which is 3,076 does not yet represent the entire country as not all agencies involved in dealing with CICL are already using the MIS.
Oco said the JJWC intervention program involves the prevention of crime, addressing the needs of children at risk, and rehabilitation so that they do not continue to commit crimes.
On the national level, the common crimes juveniles commit are illegal drugs, theft and robbery, and rape perpetrated by 15 years old teenagers and above, an age where they are highly influenced by peer pressure based on DSWD data.
According to Oco, children need guidance, especially during the age when they are most vulnerable to the influence of their environment. (AAL/Lljr/PIA 6 Negros Occidental)