Permanent Representative Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. shares the Philippine government’s efforts in promoting the welfare of girls in emergency situations.
23 September 2018, New York – The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York co-sponsored a high-level panel discussion entitled “Addressing the Rights and Needs of Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Bridging the Policy and Programming Gap” on 24 September 2018. The event was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Denmark, OCHA, UNICEF, and Plan International.
The aim of the high-level panel event was to provide Member States and civil society organizations a better understanding of gender and age-related vulnerabilities and the specific needs of adolescent girls in crisis.
In his opening statement Ambassador Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. highlighted the Philippine government’s commitment to prepare for disasters and reduce risks by integrating risk reduction and management in its development policies. He acknowledged the roles of local governments and communities in providing humanitarian assistance to those in need. He also noted the dangers faced by young women and girls in crisis situations, especially from human trafficking.
Ambassador Locsin mentioned the protections provided by the Philippine government to children during emergencies. The Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act is the first law in Asia that established accountability in ensuring the protection of children during and after emergency situations. The government established friendly spaces in camps and shelters as well as facilities for psycho-social support and counselling. The government partnered with UN agencies such as the UNHCR and with civil society organizations in building responses against women and gender-based violence on women and girls.
In order to firmly eradicate gender-based violence, it is imperative to break the culture of silence that surrounds it. It must be accepted that the victim is never at fault. Stigma should attach only to the attackers and space must be cleared to make way for girls to raise their voices and be heard.
Other panelists included Ms. Ursula Mueller, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA; Ms. Shanelle Hall, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF; Ms. Maihan Wali, Women Deliver Young Leader; and Ms. Yang Fu, Child Protection Advisor, Plan International.
Representatives of Member States, UN OHCHR, UNICEF, OCHA, and non-government organizations attended the event. - END