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EU children’s rights summit sets to roll on October 17

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Youth Advocates Frankie Pangilinan, Macoy Dubs tap as keynote speakers

By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

On October 17, 2020, a virtual Children’s Rights Summit will take place in celebration of the 31st anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which is organized by the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines. Due to the COVID19 pandemic and strict physical and social distancing are in place, the traditional gathering will be suspended until such a time that the organizer deems it safe.

For this year’s summit with a theme of  “My Space, My Rights,”, participants will have the opportunity to listen from the youth advocates Frankie Pangilinan,  Macoy Averilla (Macoy Dubs), and Atty Maria Jela Mendones Moran.

Interestingly, the virtual summit will have two parts: a two-day training session from 10 to October 11, to orient nominated youth leaders aged 15 to 18 years old on facilitating discussions and breakout sessions for the summit proper; and the “My Space, My Rights” virtual summit which will gather over 300 students from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The summit will provide a platform for children and youth to assess their situation especially during this pandemic with a focus on the four basic clusters of the rights of children: survival, protection, participation, and development.

The rights-based event is being co-presented by the Ateneo Human Rights Center and it is in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Child Rights Center.

The Summit is seen as especially relevant today because of the educational adjustments brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused many students to shift to digital platforms to continue their studies.

Pangilinan, 19, known for sparking the #HijaAko anti-rape culture movement on social media website Twitter, will officially open the event to empower participants aged 14 to 18 years old to stay informed and uphold their rights as important members of their communities.

To inspire children and youth to keep exercising their valuable rights amidst the pandemic, the closing keynote address will be given by content creator and online personality Macoy Averilla, who is commonly known to viewers for his humorous and socially aware content as “Macoy Dubs.”

Currently, Macoy Dubs is also a part-time college instructor at Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila, his alma mater.

Giving a synthesis and response to the output of the summit participants will be young lawyer Maria Jela Moran, founder of Know Your Rights Philippines, a group that advocates to educate Filipinos about their rights and duties under the law. MJ (as she is fondly called) is a volunteer counselor of the Free Legal Aid Programme of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Camarines Sur Chapter. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and has a Juris Doctorate degree.

“Although the global pandemic has caused an abrupt shift to online learning, the digital platform has also given us a unique opportunity to reach a wider group of students who deserve to know their rights and valuable contributions to society,” says Thomas Wiersing, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to the Philippines. “The European Union remains eager to support and empower the vast potential of young leaders today. This virtual children’s rights summit aims at  achieving that objective.”

For more information on the upcoming children’s rights summit and other activities of the EU, please follow the Facebook page of the EU Delegation to the Philippines at https://www.facebook.com/EUDelegationToThePhilippines(link is external).https://www.facebook.com/EUDelegationToThePhilippines.

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