In line with this year’s celebration of Human Rights Month (Buwan ng Karapatang Pantao, December 2017), Dr. Ma. Lourdes (Honey) A. Carandang was invited to give the keynote address for first formal gathering of members and member organizations under PERAS (Participatory Education on Rights Awareness and Social Action). This event was entitled “Buhay, Dignidad, at Karapatan, Hustisya at Kapayapaan. “ It was held in the main office building of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Quezon City. Dr. Carandang was asked to share her insights and experiences on the plight of the Filipino child given the pervasive violence currently faced by thousands of families in communities all over the country. The audience was composed mainly of mothers and family members who have experienced losing a loved one, a friend, and/or a neighbor since the beginning of the anti-narcotics campaign instigated by the present administration. In Dr. Carandang’s talk, she addressed the challenges faced by Filipino families today and the need to understand how these struggles affect the development of children. The presentation touched on other current and emerging issues such as the increasing number of Filipino female migrant workers and the children left behind, the violence and exploitation of children as a result of man-made and natural disasters, and the rise in the number of child soldiers brought about by conflict and war. The other speeches and presentations included a welcome address from the CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon, a documentary of extra judicial killings experienced in a particular community in Metro Manila, and the stories of the people who have experienced and witnessed violent acts committed towards their loved ones. The two main convenors of the event were former chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, Loretta Ann P. Rosales and Rev. Fr. Jerome Secillano.
PERAS Gathering for Human Rights Month, December 2017