DSWD lauds enactment of anti-child marriage law - SunStar

DSWD lauds enactment of anti-child marriage law

by Charlene A. Cayabyab

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed its gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for recently signing into law, Republic Act 11596 or “An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage and Imposing Penalties for Violations,” which is another milestone policy for the protection of children.

The DSWD said this is another leap in ensuring that all children are accorded by the State with the protection and development that they need. Regardless of practices, traditions, and culture, the Department stated that the best interest of the child is the prime consideration.

The agency also agreed that those who will be involved in the facilitation of child marriages should be appropriately punished.

Under the law, the DSWD will lead in the implementation of the act and will focus on creating appropriate programs that will address the prevalence of child marriage and interventions for the victims of arranged child marriages and their children, if any.

Within 60 days upon its passage, DSWD is mandated to lead the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations in coordination with the Department of Health, Department of Education, Council for the Welfare of Children, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and one representative each from civil society organizations representing the different sectors.

Other stakeholders must also be consulted in the drafting process of the IRR, in accordance with the law.

DSWD will also take an active role in raising awareness about the issue, as part of strengthening its advocacy to end any form of child abuse.

The agency is also tasked to work closely with the CWC for the issuance of related guidelines, for the establishment of clear referral pathways as may be necessary, for the popularization, and localization of the law.

Moreover, while spearheading the crafting of the IRR to effect the implementation of the law, DSWD commits to ensuring the best interest of the children through its existing programs and interventions for children in need of special protection.

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