SO EXCITED Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and journalists are so excited during Wednesday’s press briefing on her homecoming in Quezon City. Gray’s motorcade this afternoon passes through Pasay, Manila and Makati and is expected to tie up traffic on roads near and along Roxas Boulevard. —EDWIN BACASMAS
Catriona Gray: Focus on why children commit crimes
MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has spoken up about the issue of lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility and suggested it is better to focus on why children commit crimes.
“I really think it’s important for us to readjust our focus to why these children are committing those crimes. I worked a lot with children and anyone knows that children are not disposed to do that kind of act or to act in that kind of way,” Gray said Wednesday in an interview with News5.
The Filipino-Australian beauty queen noted children may be pushed to committing crimes because of their circumstances.
“And it really is probably a consequence of their circumstance or their environment or external pressure. So a nation, I feel like we should focus on eradicating those external pressures,” she said.
“We can do that by doing a study or seeing the children and asking them, or assessing that community, educating that community, the parents of the children, and you know, the people that are surrounding them. And I feel like that would be a better long-term solution,” she added.
Gray, known for advocating children’s welfare, further said, “Once you label the child in a way, as a child in conflict with the law, how are you bringing them up to see themselves or the community to see them?”
The beauty queen emphasized the potential children carry and said they should be given a chance to pursue their dreams.
“Children, they have so much potential. Their hearts are pure. It’s just that sometimes, circumstance bears down on them or the people or what they are faced with bears down on them,” she said.
“But if you give the chance, most of the time, they just want to pursue their dream. They just want to be happy. We should give them the chance to do that,” she added.
Even before joining Binibining Pilipinas, Gray had been active in volunteer work for Young Focus Philippines, a non-profit organization that supports the education, nutrition, and social welfare of children.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill proposing to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 12 years old. This has stirred debate among lawmakers and child rights groups. /cbb