Press Release
June 17, 2011

Legarda Wants Human Rights Subject in Schools

Senator Loren Legarda pushed for the inclusion of human rights courses in all public and private schools in the country to ensure that all students are aware of their rights and to prevent them from being victims of human rights abuse.

"In a time when our society constantly experiences extra-judicial killings, discrimination based on ethnicity and gender, enforced disappearances, hunger, internal displacement due to armed conflict, sexual abuse, among others, it is a fact of life that many of our countrymen do not know that these acts are serious infringements of their inherent and God-given human rights," she explained.

"Many feel the pain that these violations bring, and yet they do not know its name nor do they know whom to run to for help. They are left in the dark; feeding the vicious cycle of impunity and encroachment of these rights," she added.

Legarda said it is important that at an early age Filipino citizens are already aware of their rights and know what actions to take and what mechanisms are available for them in case they become victims of abuse.

Under her proposed Senate Bill 1432, Legarda wants all educational institutions in the country to make the study of human rights a mandatory part of their curriculum.

The Department of Education, in consultation with the Commission on Human Rights, will formulate courses on human rights to be taught as separate courses or incorporated in existing subjects now being taught in all levels of education throughout the country.

"We must equip our citizens with knowledge about their rights so that they are able to avoid falling prey to various forms of exploitation and ill-treatment. Educating our youth about human rights would also allow them to contribute in strengthening the country's mechanisms against human rights abuse," Legarda concluded.

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