the Children Philippines staff take part in the annual Pride
March held on June 29, 2019 in Marikina City, Philippines. A
record-breaking crowd of around 70,000 braved the rains to
show their support for the LGBT+ community.
LGBT+ rights are
Save the Children
June 29, 2020
QUEZON CITY – Save
the Children Philippines unites with the LGBT+ community and calls
on parents, guardians, the general public, and the national and
local government to defend and protect the children, regardless of
their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
"There is nothing wrong
with being LGBT+. Just like everyone else, these children have the
right to be loved, protected, and respected" said Mark, a
17-year-old gender equality advocate.
Mark is one of the
adolescents trained by Save the Children Philippines on Adolescent
Health who now teaches fellow youth and children about puberty,
adolescence, reproductive health, and gender equality.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief
Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines, said LGBT+
children and youth are deprived of their rights because of their
sexual orientation and gender identity such as access to health
services, education, and work opportunities.
“These vulnerabilities are
even exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as they face higher risks
of physical and sexual violence, bullying, ridicule, stigma and
social exclusion,” said Muyot.
The 2016 Philippine
National Baseline Study on Violence against Children (NBS-VAC)
revealed that LGBT+ children are more at risk of suffering physical
violence (75%); psychological violence (78.5%); and sexual violence
In a consultation with
LGBT+ children in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)
countries in 2016, the child participants “admitted suffering from
psychological abuse and discrimination from their own families as
well as schools and communities.”
“Society, especially the
youth, should really be aware of sexual orientation and gender
identity expression (SOGIE) so that we won’t hurt and misjudge
others,” said Mark.
Wilma Banaga, Child
Protection Advisor of Save the Children Philippines said that as
adults, it is our duty to respect, protect and fulfill children’s
rights, including the rights of LGBT+ children. Hence, Save the
Children Philippines actively campaigns for LGBT+ children’s right
to be protected from all forms of violence and discrimination, and
have access to education, health, and well-being.
Children should primarily
feel accepted, supported and protected within their families.
“As adults, we have to
challenge ourselves to get over our discomfort over children not
conforming with the gender norms that we grew up with. Parents and
other family members in particular should be able to love, accept
and support their children no matter what,” Banaga said.
Save the Children
Philippines supports the enactment of the Anti- Discrimination Act
that seeks to institutionalize programs against any form of
discrimination on the basis of SOGIE.
Muyot emphasized that
children and young people have the right to freely express their
views, and adults have the obligation to listen and consider them,
and to facilitate their participation in all matters affecting them.
The child rights
organization also collaborates with the Department of Education (DepEd),
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and all other
government agencies to sustain their efforts to promote and protect
the rights of all children by reinforcing gender-responsive
Save the Children
Philippines is committed to relentlessly work with parents,
caregivers, communities, civil society organizations and
policy-makers to ensure that the rights of all children, especially
the most vulnerable are recognized, protected, respected, and able
to achieve their full potential.