PHILIPPINES

Marcellin Center for children in conflict with the law

The Marcellin Project in the Philippines was founded in 1991 by the Marist Brothers of The Philippines to help street children in need.

Children in Conflict with the Law are often overlooked although being among the most fragile members of the society. Too often prejudice related to race, ethnicity or social and economic status may bring a child into conflict with the law even when no crime has been committed or result in harsh treatment by law enforcement officials. Their dangerous condition can generate a tremendous barrier to the child’s ability to interact with society, putting her/him among the most marginalized and disengaged from community life.

No NGO or government agency were giving the Children in conflict with the law much attention and the problem is aggravated by lack of services and programmes that prevent offending: Marcellin is the only NGO addressing the problems of Children in Conflict with the Law in General Santos City and suburban areas, providing health and psycho-social support, recovery and reintegration services so that children can achieve rehabilitation re-enter education and avoid repeat offences.

Education and vocational training offered by the center are important component to prepare in the difficult task of reintegration into an accepting family and/or community. Over the years, consultations with community leaders, parents and students provided evidence that traditional secondary school/vocational school level educational opportunities do not outreach these very vulnerable target groups, who do not have a chance to re-enter the society. It is now clear the need of services offering community-based reintegration opportunities so that children could achieve rehabilitation and avoid repeat offences.

FMSI and Misean Cara are supporting this project since 2016.

In the summer of 2020 UNICEF visited the project and published this documentary:

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Video: UNICEF Philippines