COTABATO CITY (July 8, 2022) — The Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC), Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) led the regional observance of the World Day Against Child Labor today, July 8, in Cotabato City.
The observance started in 2002 to raise awareness of child labor, and to increase government and community participation to advance the advocacy to end child labor.
Commissioner Nasserudin Dunding, representing Chairperson Marjanie Macasalong, said the BYC is committed to Bangsamoro Government’s moral governance brand, a call not to leave anyone behind, including the advocacy to end child labor.
“It should be our collective effort to ensure that every child in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region can enjoy their rights by creating systems and passing laws that promote and protect children’s rights,” Commissioner Dunding added.
Child labor is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, and their dignity that harms the child’s physical and mental development.
Based on a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are 2.1 million child laborers aged five to 17 years old.
MOLE Minister Muslimin Sema said the observance is held to raise awareness of child labor and demonstrate the countless solidarity to end child labor.
“This event is a manifestation that we can be united in our campaign against child labor, and we can do a lot,” Minister Sema added.
ILO Country Director Khalid Hassan said about 116 million boys and girls remain in child labor, where half of them are in hazardous work.
Hassan added that with a collaborative effort to end child labor, we will achieve “a child-labor-free Bangsamoro.”
This year’s celebration bears the theme “Karapatan at Kalagayan ng Batang Manggagawa: Sagipin, Tugunan, at Protektahan ng Bayan.”
Several ministries and instrumentalities of the Bangsamoro Government expressed their support for the call to end child labor including Cotabato City government, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education, Ministry of Social Welfare and Development, and Bangsamoro Women Commission, among others. (BYC PR Unit/RMM)