In observance of the 2016 International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Month, the Department of Education (DepEd), in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), opened a photo exhibit which depicts the effects of warfare in the Philippines and other countries on August 22, 2016 at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City.
The photo exhibit is anchored on the IHL Month celebration theme IHL: Mga Aral ng Nakaraan at Hamon sa Kasalukuyan (IHL: Lessons from the Past, Challenges of the Present), which aims to raise people’s consciousness on the principles of IHL.
In his welcome remarks, DepEd Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs Atty. Alberto T. Muyot expressed the need for the Department to commemorate the IHL Month, “Alam po natin na sa ibang parte po ng Pilipinas, hindi lamang po ang mga komunidad ang naaapektuhan, pati rin ang mga eskwelahan,”.
Aside from the officials and personnel of the DepEd, the opening of the exhibit was also attended by the Integration and Promotion of the Law Coordinator and Legal Advisor of the ICRC Atty. Evecar Cruz-Ferrer.
Ferrer pressed that armed conflict should not set aside human rights. “Hindi dahil nasa panahon ng digmaan, ang mga magkakatunggaling grupo ay pwedeng gawin na lamang kung ano ang nais nilang gawin. Yung mga sibilyan, bata, babae, taong di nakikilahok sa kaguluhan, mga medical at religious personnel, at ang mga wounded and sick ay protektado under IHL,”.
The photos on exhibit, courtesy of the ICRC, were taken by world-renowned war photographers and are open for public viewing from August 22-26, 2016 in the Rizal Building’s lobby area at the DepEd Central Office.
Moreover, regional and schools division offices, including schools, are also enjoined to undertake related activities such as, but not limited to, hoisting of streamers depicting this year’s theme and logo; integrating of the celebration in the different subject areas; discussing of current issues, in appropriate areas, involving children on how to protect themselves during armed conflict; and organizing of child-friendly activities such as art contest, poster-and-slogan-making contest, children’s fair and/or photo exhibit of child-friendly IHL materials.
Other participating agencies in the IHL Month celebration are the Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Justice (DOJ), DepEd, Armed Forces of the Philippines Human Rights Office, Philippine Red Cross (PRC), ICRC, Philippine National Police (PNP), Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPAPP), Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Balay Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
These efforts are pursuant to the DepEd Memorandum No. 109, s. 2016 or the 2016 International Humanitarian Law Month which is available online at http://www.deped.gov.ph/memos/dm-109-s-2016.