(Manila) – Thousands of children in the Philippines have suffered lasting physical, emotional, and economic harm from President Rodrigo Duterte’s abusive “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch said in a report and accompanying video released today. Governments at the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2020 should support an independent international investigation into the “drug war” killings in the Philippines, including violations against children.
The 48-page report, “‘Our Happy Family Is Gone’: Impact of the ‘War on Drugs’ on Children in the Philippines,” details the plight of children whose parents or guardians have been killed. Many children have suffered psychological distress, and all experienced economic hardship made worse by the death of a family breadwinner. The increased poverty and trauma have led many children to leave school or compelled them to work. Some children who lost a family member have faced bullying in their school and community. Some were forced to live on the streets.