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Philippines: Something hanging over me - child offenders under sentence of death

, Index number: ASA 35/014/2003

Philippine and international law stipulates that child offenders cannot be sentenced to death or executed. Child offenders are defined in domestic legislation, and in the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which the Philippines is party, as those who are under the age of 18 at the time the crime in question was committed. Despite these provisions, child offenders have been sentenced to death and held on death row among adult offenders. At least seven child offenders, for whom names and dates of birth are known, remain under sentence of death in adult facilities. Amnesty International is gravely concerned this is not only a breach of domestic Philippine law but that it is also a flagrant violation of the Philippines' commitments under international law. Amnesty International is also concerned that the imposition of the sentences, and the protracted delays in rectifying the sentencing constitute a serious breach of international human rights law. In this report, Amnesty International urges the government of the Philippines to implement a number of recommendations regarding the death penalty and the sentencing of youth offenders, including taking immediate steps to remove the death sentences passed on the seven child offenders.

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