MANILA, Philippines — Bata Muna is a non-partisan network of civil society organizations and government agencies supporting electoral advocacy for children. This movement began in 2013 in congruence with the Philippine Elections and relaunch again for 2016 elections. This network aims to bring to light children’s issues in relation to agendas proposed by election candidates and to provide voter’s education for the guidance of the electoral. Most importantly, Bata Muna intends to provide children with the platform where their voices can be heard.
During the last quarter of 2021, Bata Muna was reactivated in preparation for the 2022 Philippine Elections. The network was then joined by members of the Child Rights Network (CRN) from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, in partnership with Save the Children Philippines. With the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) as its current secretariat, Bata Muna 2022 and its member organizations conducted activities with the ultimate goal of assisting children to come up with their own electoral agenda which underlines their struggles, challenges and issues they want the government to prioritize.
Bata Muna, through AHRC, brought together children from all over the country and from different sectors and trained them to become Child Rights Advocates. These child rights advocates themselves were the ones who presented the objectives of this movement, shared their knowledge on child rights and consulted with their peers to build the foundations of their Children’s Electoral Agenda in the Children’s Congress conducted online last November 21, 2022. To support the electoral agenda being formulated, members of the Bata Muna network simultaneously conducted consultations with their communities to also gather insights and experiences of children that should be included in the Children’s Electoral Agenda.
With the start of 2022 and nearing the campaign period for the 2022 Philippine Elections, Bata Muna 2022: Bumoto Para sa Kapakanan ng mga Bata will officially launch the Children Electoral Agenda developed by children and conduct different activities to disseminate these priorities. Updates on these activities will be posted on the socials of Bata Muna 2022 and its member organizations.
Currently, the member organizations are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Action for the Care and Development of the Poor in the Philippines (ACAP)
Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC)
Bata Muna Cebu
Child Alert Mindanao
Child Rights Network (CRN)
Children and Youth Movement
Children Talk to Children (C2C)
Commision on Human Rights (CHR)
Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC)
Kadtuntaya Foundation Inc
Katilingban sa Kalambuan Org., Inc
Mindanao Action Group for Children’s Rights and Protection
Philippine Children’s Ministries Network, Inc. (PCMN)
Samahan ng Mamamayan – Zone One Tondo Organization
Save the Children Philippines
SOS Children’s Villages
Unang Hakbang Foundation
VIDES Phils. Volunteers Foundation, Inc.
Bata Muna Network still accepts members and partners for its child rights and elections campaign. Interested organizations and institutions may send inquiries or letters of intent to firstname.lastname@example.org.