skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 199970 Find in a Library
Title: Philippines: A Different Childhood: The Apprehension and Detention of Child Suspects and Offenders
Corporate Author: Amnesty International USA
United States of America
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Amnesty International USA
New York, NY 10001
Sale Source: Amnesty International USA
5 Penn Plaza, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10001
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document highlights concerns regarding the apprehension and detention of child offenders in the Philippines.
Abstract: Children in the Philippines are dependent on adults and adult structures of political and economic power to safeguard their well being. The Philippines ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1990, which provides for protecting the rights of accused and detained children. There are concerns that there continues to be a shocking discrepancy between the youth justice system on paper and that exercised in practice. Children that come into conflict with the law tend to represent the most disadvantaged and marginalized sectors of society. There are reports that the majority of children in detention appear to have been arrested without warrants, and that many child suspects are handcuffed upon arrest and during transfer. Despite the existence of safeguards, such as notifying adults promptly when a child is arrested, persistent reports reveal how, in practice, these rights and procedural safeguards are often ignored. Interviews with child suspects indicate that children seldom have access to legal counsel prior to charging unless they are able to afford their own. It usually takes between two weeks and several months for a child to be arraigned. A lack of awareness about legal requirements and a lack of a sense of urgency among authorities responsible for detaining children appear to be a key contributory factor in repeated failures to transfer children promptly from police station cells or prison to juvenile centers. Serious backlogs and delays continue to occur despite the creation of special courts to hear cases involving children. Children often remain for long periods of time in overcrowded adult penal institutions where there have been reports of ill treatment such as sexual assault and torture. The level of training of staff at Youth Rehabilitation Centers may be insufficient to provide child offenders with the care, support, and guidance they need. There are also sentencing problems such as child offenders receiving adult sentences and detention without sentencing. Among the recommendations is holding those accountable that fail to enforce safeguards that exist under domestic and international law. 70 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile offenders; Philippines
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Human rights; Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Juvenile inmates; Juveniles; Young juvenile offenders
Note: Downloaded April 14, 2003
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.