Practice Relating to Rule 120. Accommodation for Children Deprived of Their Liberty
The Act on Child Protection (1992) of the Philippines states that any child involved in an armed conflict, whether as a spy, courier, guide or combatant, shall be entitled to separate detention facilities, free legal assistance, notice of arrest to parents and release of the child to the social services department for protective custody.
The Philippines’ Republic Act No. 9344 (2006), the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, provides:
Sec. 5. Rights of the Child in Conflict with the Law. – Every child in conflict with the law shall have the following rights, including but not limited to:
(d) the right to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of a person of his/her age. In particular, a child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adult offenders at all times. No child shall be detained together with adult offenders … A child in conflict with the law shall have the right to maintain contact with his/her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
Sec. 21. Procedure for Taking the Child into Custody. – From the moment a child is taken into custody, the law enforcement officer shall:
(k) Ensure that should detention of the child in conflict with the law be necessary, the child shall be secured in quarters separate from that of the opposite sex and adult offenders;
Sec. 46. Separate Facilities from Adults. – In all rehabilitation or training facilities, it shall be mandatory that children shall be separated from adults unless they are members of the same family. Under no other circumstance shall a child in conflict with the law be placed in the same confinement as adults.
47. Female Children.
– Female children in conflict with the law placed in an institution shall be given special attention as to their personal needs and problems. They shall be handled by female doctors, correction officers and social workers, and shall be accommodated separately from male children in conflict with the law.
The Act further provides: “The following terms as used in this Act shall be defined as follows: … (c) “Child” refers to a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.”
In 1993, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Philippines stated that “in any case where a child is arrested for reasons related to armed conflict, he or she shall be entitled to separate detention from adults”.
In 2007, in its report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the 2000 Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, the Philippines stated:
The GRP [Government of the Philippines] has provided legislative and administrative measures to ensure that any child arrested, detained or interned for reasons related to the conflict enjoy the special protection provided by the OP [Optional Protocol], the UNCRC [UN Convention on the Rights of the Child], and the IHL.