Following a monitoring visit last week, Jubilee Action reports that thousands of children are still being illegally imprisoned in the Philippines. This is despite the Filipino Embassy in the UK issuing a statement six months ago declaring the situation as 'deplorable' - and saying that prompt action would be taken. This issue was highlighted last August in an ITV News report by Chris Rogers. The film revealed that many children were being illegally imprisoned - in direct contravention of the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children held in adult jails in close quarters with criminals convicted of murder, terrorism and sex offences are five times as likely to be sexually abused and twice as likely to be beaten compared to children housed in appropriate juvenile detention centres. Emma Le Beau, Jubilee Action's Head of Development, returned to the Philippines last week and revisited the jails. She said: "There have been token moves forward by the government but in reality I saw little improvement inside the jails." The Juvenile Justice Bill has been passed through the Philippine Senate after nine years of collecting dust, but has yet to have an impact on the plight of children held in the cells.
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