Proceedings of The Global Conference on Children and Youth
Understanding Children’s Dignity: Perspectives of Biracial Filipino Children and Their Caregivers
Maria Margarita R. Lavides, PhD
There is a lack of research about the biracial children’s perspective of their dignity. The available literature on children’s dignity are mainly based on adults’ point of view. To address this gap, ten biracial children from poor communities in Angeles City, Philippines were invited to take part in the research. Their caregivers and selected community members likewise participated in the study. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis. The themes which emerged suggested that the child participants’ dignity had internal as well as external domains which corresponded to their physical and emotional needs, respectively. The outer domain can be enhanced through promotion of a functional environment. Indicators of functionality include, although not limited to, cleanliness, colorfulness, capacity of space, and cool ambiance. The inner domain is supported through pakikipagkapwa or by regarding children as fellow human beings. Some reported indicators of absence of pakikipagkapwa were bullying, racial stereotyping, corporal punishment, and lack of consultation – treatments which were attributed to the biases that were formed as a result of the Philippines’ colonial experience. The biracial child participants’ dignity was also negatively affected by poverty, governmental inadequacy, and environmental disturbances. The study argued that provision of financial support and quality education were key in addressing discrimination against biracial children and their impoverished conditions.
keywords: child; dangal; biracial; Philippines; kapwa.