A tough sentence

This photo essay was submitted by Benno Neeleman

For minor crimes like stealing sweets from stores or pickpocketing mobile phones, there is a risk of being jailed in the Philippines, even when you are only 12 years old. Prisons and police detention centers in Manila are filled with youngsters, who are held along with adults accused of offenses as serious as rape and murder. Most of the minors stay in jail for months without any kind of trial.

The nonprofit Preda (People's Recovery, Empowerment Development Assistance Foundation), based in Olongapo, not far from Manila, is trying to get the youngsters out of prison through negotiation with judges and lawyers. They treat the kids in daycare centers where they get necessary education and food.

One of the financers of this program is the Dutch nonprofit Cordaid/Kinderstem (“Children’s Voice”), a member organization of Cordaid, which assigned me to photograph these children in Manila detention centers in 2008.

Benno Neeleman

No comments:

Post a Comment