Adhikain Para Sa Karapatang Pambata (AKAP) Child Rights Desk
AKAP is the Child Rights Desk of the Ateneo Human Rights Center established in 1993. In harmony with the Filipino term “akap,” which means “to embrace,” the AKAP desk embraces all children and advocates for the promotion and protection of their rights. It is one of the first law groups in the country to specialize in this area of human rights advocacy.
AKAP envisions child-caring societies that respect and uphold the rights and dignity of all children: where every child lives life to the fullest, participates in nation-building, and is protected from all forms of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.
AKAP has been at the forefront of advocating for children’s rights legislation. It was a member of the experts’ meeting that contributed to the crafting of the anti-child pornography bill and the technical working group that drafted the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRRs) of the bill after it was enacted into law in 2010. It was instrumental in the drafting and passage of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006. AKAP also assisted in drafting the Children’s Codes and IRRs of Quezon City and six municipalities in the province of Bicol as part of its child-friendly local governance project.
In 2013, AKAP expanded its work to Southeast Asia when it partnered with Save the Children for its regional program called Building a Child-Friendly ASEAN. It sought to come up with a comprehensive ASEAN agenda for children that will inspire a process of national implementation and social change in the ASEAN Region. The immediate objectives of this program are to build champions and establish a child rights network in ASEAN and to set the groundwork for a child rights agenda in the Region.
- Develop curriculum that educates law students on children’s rights and create anacademic environment that nurtures child rights advocates.
- Conduct training seminars, lectures, research, and publication to buildknowledge, develop skills, and raise awareness of various groups in upholding the rights of the child.
- Advocate for a child-appropriate justice system that upholds the best interest ofthe child and provide legal assistance to children who are victims of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.
- Propose legislative measures and policies that promote and protect the rights of the child.