Sunday, March 13, 2016

Grace Poe and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of a Child; excerpts from Justice Carpio's dissent

"x x x.

The Philippines signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 26 January 1990 and ratified the same on 21 August 1990. The Convention defines a child to mean every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, the age of majority is attained earlier.

Since petitioner was born in 1968 or more than 20 years before the Convention came into existence, the Convention could not have applied to the status of her citizenship at the time of her birth in 1968. Petitioner's citizenship at birth could not be affected in any way by the Convention.

The Convention guarantees a child the right to acquire a nationality, and requires the contracting states to ensure the implementation of this right, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless. Thus, as far as nationality is concerned, the Convention guarantees the right of the child to acquire a nationality so that the child will not be stateless. The Convention does not guarantee a child a nationality at birth, much less a natural-born citizenship at birth as understood under the Philippine Constitution, but merely the right to acquire a nationality in accordance with municipal law.

x x x."