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[ DEPED ORDER NO. 57, S. 2017, March 15, 2018 ]


Adopted: 21 November 2017
Date Filed: 15 March 2018

  1. For  the  information  and  guidance  of  all  concerned,  the  Department  of Education (DepEd) issues the enclosed copy of the Policy on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflict.

  2. This DepEd Order shall take effect immediately upon its issuance.

  3.  All  existing  Orders,  Memoranda,  and  other  related  issuances  inconsistent with this policy are rescinded.

  4. Immediate dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order is directed.
 (Enclosure to DepEd Order No. 57, s. 2017)



Section 1. RATIONALE

The Department has the vital role of ensuring that learners are protected and their rights respected and upheld. The protection of children during armed conflict is enshrined in the following:
  1. Section 3, Article XV of the 1987 Constitution,  which states the right of children to assistance,  including proper care and nutrition, and special protection  from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development;

  2. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of Children in Armed Conflict;

  3. Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, which declares children as zones of peace, prohibits the recruitment of children in armed conflict, and provides that public infrastructure such as schools shall not be used for military purposes;

  4. Republic  Act No. 9851  or the  Philippine  Act on Crimes  Against  International Humanitarian   Law,  Genocide,   and  Other   Crimes   Against   Humanity,   which prohibits  the  conscription,  enlistment  or  recruitment  of  children  under  the  age  of fifteen (15) into the national armed forces and children under the age of eighteen (18) into  an  armed  force  or  group  other  than  the  national  forces  and  using  them  to participate actively in hostilities;

  5. Executive Order No. 138, s. 2013, also known as, Adopting the Comprehensive Program Framework  for Children in Armed Conflict, Strengthening  the Council for the Welfare for Children and for Other Purposes, where the Department is a member  of the Inter-Agency  Committee  on Children  in Armed  Conflict  (IAC-CIAC), and  is required  to work  closely  with  other  concerned  agencies  in the  provision  of services  and  monitoring   the  implementation   of  the  plans  and  programs   of  the Committee;

  6. United  Nations  Security  Council  Resolution  (UN  SCR)  Nos.  1539  (2004)  and 1612 (2005), which requests State Parties to develop Action Plans on the recruitment and use of minors and mandates the establishment of a Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on Grave Child Rights Violations in Situations of Armed Conflict;

  7. UN SCR No. 1882 (2009), which requires  a time-bound  Action Plan to address  the conflict resulting to killing and maiming of children, as well as rape and other sexual violence against children;

  8. UN  SCR  No.  1998  (2011),  which  calls  upon  State  Parties  to  take  decisive  and immediate action against recurrent threats and attacks on schools and associated personnel,   as  well  as  to  refrain  from  actions  that  impede  children’s   access  to education; and

  9. The  2017  Report  of  the  United  Nations  Security  Council  Working  Group  on Children   and  Armed   Conflict,   which  welcomes   the  steps  undertaken   by  the Philippine   government   to  better  protect  children   in  armed  conflict,   through   the creation  of the  Inter-Agency  Committee  on Children  in Armed  Conflict  (IAC-CIAC) and the monitoring,  reporting,  and response  system  on children  affected  by armed conflict  to  provide  assistance,   service  responses,  and  investigation   of  violations against children.

Recognizing  the negative impact of armed conflict, the Department of Education reaffirms the child’s  right  to education  and  the role  of the education  sector  in strengthening  the protection  of  its  learners  and  school  personnel  during  situations  of  armed  conflict.  In
addition,  the  Department  recognizes  the  need  to  continue  the  provision  of  education during  times of armed  conflict  and the implementation  of concrete  measures  to prevent the use of schools and attack on schools.

Section 3. SCOPE

The policy shall apply to the following:
1.    DepEd Central, Regional, and Schools Division Office personnel;
2.    School heads and administrators;
3.    Teaching and non-teaching personnel; and
4.     Learners  in  public  and  private  elementary  and  secondary  schools  and  alternative learning centers.


All concerned shall adopt the following principles, in due recognition  of learners as zones of peace:

A.     Respect for the human rights of children in situations of armed conflict from all forms of abuse, violence, neglect, cruelty, discrimination,  and other conditions prejudicial to their development;

B.     Consideration   of  the  best  interest  of  children,  respecting  their  dignity  as  human beings,  and  treating  all  of  those  involved  in,  affected  by,  or  displaced  by  armed conflict;

C.    Recognition and respect of the rights of children in armed conflict, such as:
a.    Right  to  survival,  protection,  development   and  participation   as  they  need  a protective,  secure  and  stable  environment  in which  to grow  and  develop  their moral, psychological, social, and spiritual development needs;
b.    Right not to be recruited or used by any party in armed conflict;
c.     Right to have a childhood and to grow up in an environment free from conflict;
d.    Right to be protected from any negative consequences  of armed conflict, such as physical and psychological effects;
e.    Right  to assistance,  recovery  and  rehabilitation  from  the  effects  of conflict,  to reunite with their families, and to receive relief as a priority; and
f.     Right to live in peace and express their views, even in times of conflict.
D.    Guarantee  protection  under  the CRC,  the Optional  Protocol  on the Involvement  of Children  in  Armed  Conflict,  and  all  other  human  rights  treaties,  other  pertinent international   instruments   and   protocols   ratified   by   the   Philippines,   the   rights guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution, and all existing laws, rules, and regulations relevant thereto.


Section. 5. Grave Child Rights Violations or GCRV

Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution Nos. 1539 (2004), 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), and 1998 (2011),  these  refer to the offenses  committed  against  children  that constitute flagrant  violations  of  their  human  rights  and  have  severe  consequences  in  their  lives. These offenses include the following:

A.     Killing  and  Maiming  of Children  - Killing  includes  any  action  that  results  to the death of one or more children. Maiming, on the other hand, includes any action that results to permanent or debilitating injury, defacing, scarring, and mutilation to one or more children.  It should  be noted that psychological  injuries  are not covered  under this violation.
a.    Killing of Children  - may also refer to acts of all kinds in the context of armed conflict  that  result  in  the  death  of  one  or  more  children.  Among  others,  they include the death of children as a result of direct targeting or as the indirect result of,  among  others,  the  use  of landmines,  cluster  munitions,  and  all forms  and types of improvised explosive device (IED).

b.    Maiming of Children - may also refer to acts of all kinds in the context of armed conflict  that  result  in  serious  or  permanent   or  disabling   injury,  scarring   or defacing, or mutilation of one or more children. It shall cover intentional maiming of children  where they are directly targeted,  and casual maiming  of children  as the indirect result of, among others, the use of landmines, cluster munitions, and all forms and types of IED.
B. Recruitment   and  Use  of  Children   -  Recruitment   includes   acts  of  voluntary, compulsory,  or forced conscription  or enlistment to any armed force or armed group. The use of children in the context of armed conflict includes the use of minors in any capacity,  such  as,  but  not  limited  to:  fighters,  cooks,  porters,  messengers,  sexual slaves or spies. This violation also includes cases of “labeling” or “associating” a child with an armed group or force.

C.    Rape  and  Grave  Sexual  Violence  of  Children  -  This  violation  includes  acts  of sexual  violence   such  as  rape,  enforced   sterilization,   forced  prostitution,   forced marriage, or pregnancy, as well as sexual slavery. Rape refers to the crime of rape as defined under Article 266-A of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law.

D.    Abduction  of Children - This refers to the unlawful seizure, apprehension,  taking in custody,   detention   or   capture   of   one   or   more   children   either   temporarily   or permanently  by force, threat of force or coercion, or deception for the purpose of any form  of  exploitation  of  such  children  in  the  situation  of  armed  conflict.  Abduction includes  kidnapping,  hostage-taking,  illegal detention,  of any child in the context  of armed conflict.

E.     Attacks  on Schools  and Hospitals  - This refer to the occupation  without  a lawful purpose,   shelling,  targeting   for  propaganda   in  relation  to  unlawful  purposes   or purposes  contrary  to  public  policy,  order,  or  morals  of  schools  and  hospitals;  or causing damage to such places, or harm or injury to their personnel;  or causing the total  or  partial  physical  destruction   of  such  facilities;  or  disruption  of  education activities and health services. It also refers to attacks of such places which have been temporarily abandoned by the community as a result of armed conflict.

F.     Denial of Humanitarian  Access  - This refers to the intentional  barring by physical force or administrative barriers of humanitarian aid, supplies, services, and personnel, into and out of an affected area.
a.    Humanitarian  Access  -  This  refers  to  the  right  of  vulnerable  populations  to receive  international  protection  and  assistance  from  an  impartial  humanitarian relief  operation  to  complement  efforts  of  national  authorities.  Such  action  is subject  to the consent  of the State  parties  concerned  and  does  not prescribe coercive measures in the event of refusal, however unwarranted.

b.    Humanitarian   Assistance  -  This  refers  to  aid  that  seeks  to  save  lives  and alleviate  suffering  of a crisis affected  population.  Humanitarian  assistance  must be provided in accordance with the basic humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality,  independence  and neutrality.  Assistance  may be divided  into three (3) categories:  direct assistance,  indirect  assistance  and infrastructure  support, which have diminishing degrees of contact with the affected population.

Section 6. Monitoring, Referral and Response System (MRRS) for GCRVs

The MRRS is created by virtue of Executive Order No. 138 and acts as the monitoring arm of the Children in Armed Conflict Program Framework,  with the Council for the Welfare of Children as the coordinating  body. Its primary objective is to protect children in situations of armed conflict by preventing the occurrence of grave child rights violations and ensuring the provision of appropriate and timely response in the event of such violations.

The Department, as part of the MRRS, is tasked to gather, report, and monitor incidences of GCRVs and ensure the provision of education interventions  and services to children in armed conflict situations.

Section 7. Reporting Mechanism

School heads or any teaching or non-teaching  school personnel who have information on incidents  of GCRVs  as stated  in this Department  Order  are mandated  to report  to the MRRS. The following contact details are provided:

Monitoring, Reporting, and Referral System
Council for the Welfare of Children
Address: No. 10, Apo Street, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City
Landline: (02) 781-1035 to 39 local 2003/2004
Mobile: +63927-436-1436,  or +63915-722-5993
Email address:
All reports must be submitted within twenty-four hours from the time the incident occurred and copy  furnished  the Regional  Office  and the Office  of the Undersecretary  for Legal Affairs.

Section 8. Reporting Form

The report shall indicate the following information:
A.     Source of Data
a.    Name of Reporting Party:
b.    Agency:
B.    Event Information
a.    Source of Information:
b.    Date and Time of Incident:
c.     Location:
d.    Number of Children Affected:
• Number of Girls:
• Number of Boys:
e.    Names and Age of Affected Children:
f.     Name of Armed Group or Forces Involved:
g.    Short Description of the Incident

Section 9. Separability Clause

Any   part   or   provision   of   this   Department   Order,   which   may   be   held   invalid   or unconstitutional,  shall not affect the validity and effectivity of the other provisions.
Section 10. Repealing Clause

This Order supersedes  Department  Memorandum  No. 221, s. 2013. All prior Department Orders   or  other  issuances,   or  provisions   thereof,   which   are  inconsistent   with  this Department Order are hereby repealed, revised, or modified accordingly.

Section 10. Effectivity

This Department Order shall take effect immediately upon issuance.

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