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[November 2006]

October was a busy month - with four field trips in a row. The purpose was to conduct needs assessment at the centers for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICLs) across the country. In April 2006, the Philippine Congress passed a new law that terminated the long lasting practice of detaining CICLs in jails together with adult criminals. Upon enactment of the law, many CICLs were released from jails and the rehabilitation centers soon became overcrowded, not to mention the lack of their capacity for providing them with proper education and vocational trainings.

As much as I want to show you the shining eyes of those boys and girls, I obviously shouldn't to protect their human rights. Their innocent smiles and laughters not only makes me determined to do the best I can do to support them, but also makes me ponder on the social and economic environment that brought them into their current situation and how we can contribute to mitigating them...can we ever?!