The Duterte Administration of the Philippines has resorted to mass arrests in its war on drugs, and is planning to broaden that hard line approach to include children .
New legislation would impose mandatory prison terms of up to 12 years on children as young as 9 y.o. The children of the poor will be most heavily impacted, since they are more likely to join drug gangs in an effort to survive.
The US State Dept. website describes our nation’s relationship with the Philippines as “based on strong historical and cultural links and a shared commitment to democracy and human rights .”
According to the non-profit Human Rights Watch, however, conditions at government facilities for children are already inhumane. This is particularly true at Bahay Pag-asa (“House of Hope”). Locked in cages, children there suffer from skin infections suggesting inadequate diet and sanitation.
“I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’ ” (Matt. 25: 36).
 The Defender Magazine, Spring 2019, “Children in Crisis: A Report from the Philippines”.
 New York Times, “Philippine Law Would Make 9-Year-Olds Criminally Liable” by Jason Gutierrez, 1/22/19, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/world/asia/philippines-juvenile-justice-law.html.
 US Department of State, “US Relations with the Philippines”, 7/17/18, https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-the-philippines/.
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