Scores of children killed in Philippines’ war on drugs

Related news

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA – At least 129 children have been killed in the Philippines’ four-year war on drugs, most by police or allied assailants, but they may only represent a fraction of the toll, activist groups said on Monday.

Minors have been directly targeted, punished as proxies, or victims of mistaken identity or “collateral damage”, they said in a report, “How could they do this to my child?”.

The World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and the Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center, a Philippines- based group, urged the U.N. Human Rights Council to launch an independent commission of inquiry into extrajudicial killings and other crimes at its three-week session opening on Tuesday.

The figures, which include seven child murders this year, are “the tip of the iceberg because it is only those cases that we were able to document and verify, there may be many more in the country”, said Gerald Staberock, OMCT secretary-general.

“We are calling on the Human Rights Council to give a clear investigative mandate on the ground to collect the evidence and to ensure accountability,” he told a news conference.

A Philippine presidential palace spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokesman Harry Roque rejected as “rehashed claims” a separate U.N. report this month that found tens of thousands of people may have been killed in the war on drugs amid near impunity.

But the activists’ report said: “Far from being only ‘collateral damage’, as callously stated by President Rodrigo Duterte, these have often been deliberate killings.”

Their investigations found that 38.5% of the documented child killings were carried out by policemen while 61.5% were by unknown assailants, “some of them with direct links to the police”. The youngest victim was a 20-month-old girl.

Perpetrators enjoy impunity, with only one case, involving the killing of 17-year-old Manila student Kian delos Santos, recorded on video in 2017, leading to a conviction, the report said.

Children violating quarantines in the pandemic have been killed, Rose Trajano of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, said.

“We have documented at least 15 extrajudicial killings during the time of COVID and we know that is not all,” she said.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Nick Macfie)

SourceReuters
 

Latest news

U.S. Supreme Court to weigh FTC authority to seek ill-gotten gains

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Thursday to decide whether the Federal Trade Commission can continue to require scam artists and firms...

Tesla appears poised to electrify S&P 500

By Noel Randewich and Chuck Mikolajczak Wall Street's most controversial stock may be about to go mainstream. Tesla Inc appears on the verge of joining the...

Rio de Janeiro mayor says ‘will reopen beaches when there is a COVID-19 vaccine’

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier RIO DE JANEIRO - The famous beaches in Brazil's tourist hot spot of Rio de Janeiro will only reopen officially for...

Pandemic pushes U.S. insurers to avoid already strained senior care market

By Suzanne Barlyn The coronavirus pandemic has made it even harder for senior-care centers in the United States to find or afford standard liability insurance,...

In echo of Mao era, China’s schools in book-cleansing drive

By Huizhong Wu BEIJING - As schools reopened in China after the COVID-19 outbreak, they have thrown themselves into a nationwide exercise to remove books...

Trending news