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COMMENT: Plan International condemns proposed lowering of Philippines age of criminality

Ernesto Almocera, Plan International Philippines Communications and Advocacy Manager, says: “We cannot hold young children to the same standards as adults. Detention pending trial, punishment and conviction can have lasting traumatic and emotional effects on a child.”

“Data shows us that almost 50% of reported crimes involving children are crimes like theft, which is often linked to poverty. Instead of punishing children as adults, we must address the root causes that drive children to commit these crimes, and focus on community-based prevention and rehabilitation.”

“Children who are in conflict with the law must be educated on the consequences of their behavior through diversion and positive discipline, not through harsh, criminal punishment that increases chances for them to be hardened criminals.”