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DSWD praises the passing of anti-child marriage law

January 14, 2022 - Friday 7:01 PM by Kristine Casampol

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) expressed its gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for recently signing the Republic Act 11596, also known as "An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage and Imposing Penalties for Violations."

The DSWD emphasized that this is a significant step forward in ensuring that all children receive the protection and development they require from the government. The Department declared that the child's best interest is the primary consideration, regardless of practices, traditions, or culture.

The Department also agreed that individuals who assist in the facilitation of child marriages should be punished appropriately.

The DSWD will take the lead in implementing the Act, focusing on developing suitable programs to combat the occurrence of child marriage and interventions for victims of arranged child marriages and their children, if any, under the law.

The Department is required to lead the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations within sixty (60) days of its passage, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and one representative from each Civil Society Organization representing the various sectors. 

In addition, the law requires other groups to be consulted during the IRR's draft process. 

As part of enhancing its advocacy to end child abuse, DSWD will actively raise awareness about the issue. The Department is also expected to collaborate closely with the CWC on developing related guidelines, establishing clear referral procedures as necessary, and the popularization and localization of the law.

Also, DSWD pledges to ensure children's best interests through its existing programs and interventions for children in need of special protection while spearheading the creation of the IRR to affect the law's implementation.

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