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Former Visiting Researcher Shares Preliminary Findings

During an informal gathering with SDRC Director Caridad Tarroja, former Director Melvin Jabar, Visiting Professor James Beebe, and members of the research staff, 2013-14 Visiting Researcher Atty. Emily Cheesman provided an update on the progress of her PhD dissertation on NGOs and children’s rights-based approaches to working with street children in Manila. Held at the Faculty Center on March 17, she shared the major themes for her study that surfaced through interviews with NGO staff, observation sessions, and dialogues with experts.
Atty. Cheesman reported that the NGOs she interviewed found that having their work framed through “ children’s rights” supported international and domestic recognition and discussion, particularly for public, partner and donor relations. The challenges they encountered mostly involved the coordination and complexities of dealing with several government agencies, limitations of data collection and sharing; varying resources and technical knowledge , and other external factors, such as situations rising from calamities and displacement.

One specific case she cited that demonstrated both the need for further awareness of children’s rights and also the way these rights can support improved outcomes for children was that of “Frederico,” the emaciated child at Manila’s Reception and Action Center (RAC), whose published photograph together with a strong social media campaign drew public response and spurred community advocacy in late 2014. Though the child has recovered in the care of another facility, the Action Center has temporarily closed the center .

At the end of her update, Atty. Cheesman asked for possible suggestions to improve her study, and was provided with contact information on organizations such as the Child Welfare Council, which can assist her with other useful information. She expressed the hope to visit Manila once more before the end of the year .






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