Council For The Welfare Of Children (CWC) Says Lowering The Age Of Criminal Liability To 9 Is A Short-Sighted Solution
CWC – The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) says that lawmakers should focus more on strengthening the laws instead of lowering the age.
Recently, the House panel approved the bill aiming for a lower age of criminal liability in the Philippines. With the 9-1 voting, the lowering of the age of criminal liability from 15 years old to 9 years old is approved.
This was done with the help of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The violators will be labeled “children in conflict with the law”.
According to PhilStar, meanwhile, the Council for the Welfare of Children said that lowering of minimum age of criminal responsibility a “short-sighted solution”
The said approval will pass the blame on children rather than addressing the root causes that drive them to engage in criminal activities.
As per the report, the Council cited the position paper of the Psychological Association of the Philippine (PAP) which states that children in conflict with the law usually came from dysfunctional families. The said children are victims of neglect or lack of parental care that they need. The children’s cognitive abilities to control impulses, make reasoned decisions and regulate emotions are still under development during the early to middle adolescent stage.
“Children are not little adults. Particularly, children in conflict with the law are victims and not criminals. As victims of circumstances, they should be supported and accorded with appropriate intervention and rehabilitation not only by the government but also with the family and the community as well,”Statement from the Council for the Welfare of Children
“Most importantly, they have the right to grow up in a caring and protective environment and be given a chance to redeem themselves.”