UNICEF statement on the killing of Fabel Pineda

  • UNICEF condemns the murder of 15-year-old girl Fabel Pineda after filing a complaint against a policeman who molested her in custody for violating quarantine curfew

MANILA, 7 July 2020 – UNICEF condemns the murder of 15-year-old girl Fabel Pineda after filing a complaint against a policeman who molested her in custody for violating quarantine curfew. We mourn and condole with her family. Fabel’s death is made even more painful by the manner of her passing and the violence she suffered.

Society should never be accustomed to such egregious attacks against children. Every child has an inalienable right to live a life without violence and be treated by society with their best interest in mind.

As a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Philippines is duty-bound to uphold children’s right to life and to develop their potentials and capacities, to create a safe environment for children to be heard, and to protect children from all forms of violence.

When a child asserts her or his rights and reports wrongdoing against her or him, society should celebrate this act of courage by providing the child with access to justice and adequate support.

We recognize the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Council for the Welfare of Children for timely releasing circulars and issuances that guarantee the protection of the rights and best interest of children during the community quarantine. We urge the Government to commit to increasing the capacity of its local police force and barangay workers to ensure that the full implementation of the law is done with child-sensitive protocols to fully safeguard our children and give them the physical, emotional, and psychological support.

UNICEF supports the statement of PNP chief General Archie Gamboa that the perpetrators must be held accountable for the heinous crime committed so that Fabel and her family will get the justice they deserve.

As we experience a new normal in this pandemic, let us not allow Fabel and countless children who are speaking out against violence to be silenced by our indifference and inaction. We hope that hereon, all children in need of protection and care will be heard and prioritized for swift action and empathetic response.

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United Nations Children’s Fund