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We are one with DSWD in immediate transfer of children from GHI – CHR

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Commission on Human Rights (CHR) – Child Rights Center Officer-in-Charge Ma. Victoria Diaz told the Senate committee on Wednesday (July 5) that the CHR is one with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in its decision to immediately transfer the children from Gentle Hands Inc. (GHI) to the DSWD Centers and Residential Care Facilities (CRCF).

CHR’s Diaz emphasized during the fact-finding hearing of the Senate Committee on Women, Family Relations, and Gender Equality that the end-goal of the DSWD’s decision was to ensure the safety of the more than 100 children sheltered in GHI’s childcare facility in Project 4, Quezon City.

“The Commission on Human Rights is one with the DSWD in terms of the immediate transfer of the children because the quick response team and the Child Rights Center went there and we saw the structure and the location of the building,” CRC-OIC Diaz said.

The CHR official also pointed out that the decision to pull out the children from the orphanage is in consideration of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) mandating that the safety of the children should always be considered at all times.

“Not only the safety [but] the health, the other rights of the children must be considered at all times. That’s the reason why we came up with a recommendation that they should be transferred to the various facilities that guarantee their safety,” the CHR official said.

The CRC-OIC also told the senators in the hearing that CHR representatives were present while the DSWD was transferring the children to its childcare facilities.

“We were there during the transfer of the children from Gentle Hands to the different facilities. The Child Rights Center also visited the various facilities under the DSWD where the children were transferred,” CHR’s Diaz pointed out..

The children-residents who were pulled out from GHI were transferred to the three centers and residential care facilities (CRCFs) under the management of DSWD.

These are the Elsie Gaches Village in Alabang, Muntinlupa City; Nayon ng Kabataan in Mandaluyong City and the Reception and Study Center for Children in Quezon City.

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