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Philippine children's rights advocate wins Taiwan's annual human rights award

12/07/2023 04:37 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (left) presents the the 18th Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award to CRC Asia Regional Executive Director Amihan V. Abueva at the Taipei Guest House on Thursday. CNA photo Dec. 7, 2023
President Tsai Ing-wen (left) presents the the 18th Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award to CRC Asia Regional Executive Director Amihan V. Abueva at the Taipei Guest House on Thursday. CNA photo Dec. 7, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 7 (CNA) Philippine children's rights advocate Amihan V. Abueva has been awarded the 18th Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in Taipei in recognition of her decades-long efforts to promote children's rights and welfare across Asia.

During the ceremony held in Taipei on Thursday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who presented the award conferred annually by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, praised Abueva, the regional executive director for Child Rights Coalition Asia (CRC Asia), for being a "powerful advocate" of the rights of children in her "decades-long battle against all forms of child violence, especially trafficking and sexual exploitation."

Throughout her career, she has been the epitome of selflessness and courage, tirelessly fighting for a safer world for our children and future, Tsai said.

Abueva has also played a key role in government efforts by serving as Philippine Representative to the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children, the president added.

Abueva's leadership at CRC Asia, a regional network of child rights and human rights organizations operating in 13 countries and territories in South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, has also helped connect child rights organizations across the region, including Taiwan-based Child Welfare League Foundation, Tsai said.

Taiwan is also striving to do its part to protect its children and their rights, according to the president.

"For nearly a decade, we have endeavored to incorporate international standards of the rights of the child into domestic law," Tsai said, adding that in 2014, legislation was passed to bring the principles of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the most ratified human rights treaty in history, into Taiwan's legal framework.

To bring Taiwan more in line with the UNCRC, the government also held discussions and reviews on how to implement the law, helping the shaping of future policy, she said.

While accepting the award from the Taipei-based foundation, Abueva thanked the foundation and urged others to follow in her footsteps.

The Filipina said people are living in "complex and dynamic times" with many, particularly children, being fed all kinds of information, including fake news.

It is the job of "good government" to provide children "access to truthful and age-appropriate information," Abueva added.

As well as her work to prevent human trafficking, Abueva also works to prevent the trafficking of human organs, the foundation said.

Since 2006, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy has conferred the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award to an individual or organization that has used peaceful means to make major contributions to the development of democracy and human rights in Asia.

The award comprises of a trophy and a US$100,000 grant to help the winner continue with their work.

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy is a non-partisan non-profit organization initiated by the nation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote democracy around the world.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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