The Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office (AFPHRO) has already submitted its report to the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator regarding the 544 minors recruited and used as “child warriors” by the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) since 2010.
The reports of the exploitation of these minors are containes in the document signed by AFPHRO chief Col. Alejandro S. Nacnac.
The youths were also used by communist terrorists in their armed activities.
Copies of the report have been furnished to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the AFP said in a statement late Sunday.
The AFPHRO earlier submitted a similar report to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to seek appropriate action.
The report also aims to get these organizations’ support in AFPHRO’s quest to put a stop to this nefarious practice against children.
“The AFP, through the AFPHRO, will untiringly work with you as we pursue our common interest to uphold children’s rights,” Nacnac said.
The AFPHRO has been working together with the UN Resident Coordinator in monitoring and reporting incidents of violations against Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
The number is expected to rise as several military units continue to conduct inquiries.
Also cited in the report are violations of national laws such as Republic Act 7610, Republic Act 9851, and Republic Act 11188.
These laws enact stronger deterrence and protection against child abuse, exploitation, and discrimination, penalty for crimes against IHL, and special protection of children during armed conflicts while providing penalties for violations thereof.
The AFP is continuously enhancing its efforts in Internal Security Operations so that the CPP-NPA-NDF’S repeated use of minors to actively participate in conflicts to advance their struggles could be terminated.
“We will remain steadfast in our mission to achieve complete victory against the CPP-NPA-NDF that continues to exploit and put the lives of innocent people especially our children at risk. The AFP joins the UN and UNICEF as well as other organizations in promoting human rights and upholding the dignity of every person,” the AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay said in a statement.
He reiterated his call for unity among organizations.
“We are once again calling for cooperation to shield vulnerable members of our society especially the youth from being taken advantage of by the CPP-NPA-NDF. Your AFP will not let these terrorist groups to waste our youth’s great potential as productive members of society,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)