Message at the pretest of the child labour manual in the Bangsamoro region

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the pretest of the child labour manual in the Bangsamoro region, 5 July 2021, Cotabato, Philippines

Statement | Cotabato City, Philippines | 05 July 2021
  • MOLE Minister Romeo Sema,
  • Deputy Minister Matarul Estino,
  • Director General Dong Anayatin,
  • MOLE Labour Inspectors and Field Officers,
  • Distinguished guests, resource persons and colleagues,
  • Ladies and gentlemen,
Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh!

We appreciate much your presence today, which highlights your commitment to end child labour.

This year, 2021 marks the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Stakeholders have been encouraged to announce and implement concrete actions taken to help end child labour. It is good to know the commitment and support of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) led by Minister Sema to this global call.

A recent ILO and UNICEF report revealed that child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – the first increase in two decades. Nine million more children are at risk of being pushed into child labour by the end of 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the time to scale up efforts and to break the cycle of poverty and child labour. We need to address the root causes, and focus more on inclusive social protection that will allow families to keep their children in school. It is also crucial to increase investment in rural development and decent work.

Today’s training is part of enhancing the capacity of partners to deliver child labour interventions and related advocacies. It will also help build a pool of trainers with deeper understanding on child labour including international conventions, national laws and regulations, best practices, strategies and durable solutions.

This training is part of the ILO’s technical assistance under its Child Labour Project, with the support of the ILO-Japan Multi-bilateral Programme.

This will complement initiatives of MOLE under the newly transformed Bangsamoro Child Labour Program (BCLP) formerly known as Sagip Batang Mangagawa Program headed by Ms Morena Karon.

It will also contribute to strengthening alliances, mainstreaming child labour through policies and legislations, and institutionalizing child labour programmes in BARMM.

All these contribute to the Decent Work Country Programme of the Philippines, which reflects shared priorities of government, workers and employers, and the United Nations Socioeconomic and Peacebuilding Framework (SEPF). It is also aligned with the country’s National Employment Recovery Strategy 2021-2022 as a whole-of-society approach.

The ILO is grateful to MOLE for this partnership to end child labour, in pursuit of advancing social justice, promoting decent work, and achieving sustainable development for lasting peace.

My best wishes for the success of this training. We count on MOLE to create an environment in the region for children to live peacefully and to develop their full potential. Together we can build a better future of work – a future without child labour!

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!

Wassalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. May peace be upon us all!