Save the Children Philippines has called on the government to protect children regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics (SOGIESC).
Ammiel Alano, SOGIESC Project Officer of the group, said children “suffer different forms of discrimination on a daily basis even in their homes where they should feel most protected and loved.”
“Many are abused only because they chose to be who they really are,” Alano added.
The National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children in 2016 revealed that four of five children with diverse SOGIESC are more at risk of experiencing physical, psychological, and sexual violence.
Lawyer Alberto Muyot, CEO of Save the Children Philippines, said young people should be “treated with respect—free from all forms of abuse and discrimination.”
“All children, no matter who and what they are, deserve to achieve and embrace their rights fully and to live in a safer, fairer, and more colorful world,” he said.
The group pushes for the passing of the “Positive Parenting Bill,” which aims to make the Philippines the first country in Southeast Asia “to legally protect children from physical and humiliating punishments in all settings, including the home.”
The group also advocates for the enactment of the “SOGIE Equality Bill” that will “advance and strengthen the protection of the vulnerable members of society,” including children of diverse SOGIESC, which the group said “are most impacted by inequality and discrimination.”
“We encourage parents, relatives, schools, communities, and various sectors of society to love, accept, and support their children, regardless of their SOGIESC,” said George Oliver De La Rama of Save the Children Philippines.