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Children suffer most in Philippine drug war, Human Rights Watch says

Children suffer most in Philippine drug war, Human Rights Watch says

DPA
Manila
Thousands of children in the Philippines have suffered psychological distress, bullying and worsening poverty as a result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, Human Rights Watch reported on Wednesday.
At least 101 children were also killed, either as bystanders or as the main targets of the violent crackdown between July 2016 and December 2018, the New York-based group said in a 48-page report.
The figures on deaths date back to 2018 because of available statistics. The study extended into 2019 and this year and the government’s policy is still in place.
Human Rights Watch urged members of the UN Human Rights Council to support an independent international investigation into the drug war killings and the impact of the violence on children, and press the Philippine government to end its illegal drug operations.
“Without action now, an entire generation of Filipino children will be victimized by the violence of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign,” said Carlos Conde, Philippines researcher at Human Rights Watch.
The report noted that the Philippine government has “done little to address the needs of children directly affected by the anti-drug campaign.”
According to Philippine police statistics, more than 5,600 suspects have been killed in anti-drug operations since July 1, 2016.
Estimates by human rights group place the death toll at more than 27,000, Human Rights Watch said.
“In many of the raids, children witnessed the killing of a parent, or were present while their parent was dragged away and shot,” the report said.

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