Juvenile Justice Advocacy Group

July 26, 2011

The Juvenile Justice Advocacy Group is a multi-sectoral group of child rights advocates from the judiciary, the academe, legal practitioners, leagues of local executives, selected legislators, child and youth welfare groups, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and juvenile justice networks. On the third anniversary of the passing of Republic Act 9344, also known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, we are coming together to work for the strengthening of RA9344 and its full implementation.

RA 9344 was enacted to champion the rights of children at risk and children in conflict with the law (CICL). Hailed as a landmark piece of legislation, RA 9344 is the first law ever to uphold the juvenile justice and welfare system in the country.Unfortunately, three years after the law has passed, the full benefits of RA 9344 for the CICL have yet to be felt. Many misinterpret the law and there is a serious lack of appreciation of the law’s benefits to society. The Juvenile Justice Welfare Council, the lead agency mandated to implement the law, has yet to receive the resources allocated by government for the implementation of its programs. Further, stakeholders still need to be armed with accurate information and the right training to support the proper implementation of RA 9344.

The law is clear. The rights of the CICL have to be protected. JJAG, in collaboration with the JJWC, strongly pushes for the intervention and rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law. Let no one misinterpret the law; let no one misinterpret our efforts. JJAG does not condone deviant or offensive acts of CICLs; JJAG does not encourage the proliferation of crimes committed by children; JJAG does not intend to raise youngsters devoid of values. Instead, JJAG warrants the rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law; JJAG pushes for the reintegration of CICLs into the society; JJAG promotes the rights of CICLs to useful and productive lives.

The Juvenile Justice Advocacy Group is strongly committed to:

• Provide support for appropriate training to implementing groups; and
•  Facilitate dialogue among stakeholder groups to address issues and identify future needs.
• JJAG believes that information awareness is the key for people to understand and appreciate the law.