Responding to news that the Philippines Senate may vote in favour of lowering the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years old, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Global Operations, Minar Pimple, said:
“This regressive law, if passed, will endanger children’s lives rather than reduce crime. Let’s remember that the so-called ‘war on drugs’ – in whose name this law was drafted – is a reckless war on the poor that has already left tens of thousands dead, including children.
“Today the government takes another harsh step, by opening the door to the criminal prosecution of young children including for drug-related offences. In a climate where the police act as judge, jury and literally, executioner, this bill risks enabling further abuses of power.
“The Philippine authorities claim the draft law is designed to rehabilitate children. If that was the goal, they would focus on fulfilling their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and existing juvenile welfare laws. The Philippine Senate should reject this deeply dangerous bill.”