Child-focused humanitarian agency World Vision kick-starts the New Year with the commemoration of the historical Global March against Child Labor (GMACL) in partnership with the Quezon City local government, in the continuing fight to eliminate child labor and other forms of child exploitation.
GMACL is not just a massive march activity but a global movement founded by 140 different countries in January 17, 1998, due to the alarming growth of child labor around the world.
The Philippines joined the movement and actively participated in the first memorable global march site hosted in the Quezon City Memorial Circle, where many Filipino individuals and groups including World Vision, converged to march together with the loudest battle cry to eliminate child labor.
Dedicated in promoting child the children’s welfare, World Vision has strengthened its efforts to advocate for vulnerable children and communities through its Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE). The project aims to address issues of child labor, especially in assisting victims of the worst forms of child labor (WFCL) and online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC). Project ACE also commits to empower children in knowing their rights as well as enabling community stakeholders to be more vigilant to protect and prevent exploitation among children.
Since its inception in 2019, Project ACE has made a significant impact, in partnership with the local government units in Quezon City and Cagayan De Oro. To date, the initiative contributed to the adoption of 12 policies, plans, and programs on child labor, conducted a series of labor inspectors and major stakeholders training, and organized various awareness-raising activities to improve the enforcement of applicable laws on child labor and trafficking (CLT). The project has also trained more than 260 service providers on how to address WFCL and OSAEC, supported 15 community-organized awareness-raising activities, and assisted service providers with new or expanded assistance to victims of WFCL and OSAEC.
All these milestones were not possible without the unwavering partnerships with the QC and CDO local government offices, the national and local units of Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“We believe there is still so much to be done to eliminate child labor, and we’re grateful to have dedicated partners that have been helping us make our vision possible. This is why we continue to march forward, we start this year with fresh hearts. Hoping that by the end of 2023, we see the fruits of our labor, with so many more children whose lives have changed,” stated Jun N. Godornes, World Vision Resource Development Director.
World Vision places children at the center of all its work to transform communities for good, working with parents and communities to ensure that kids are protected and that their futures are not stolen by labor exploitation.
World Vision continues to build a protective environment that cares for and supports children by providing educational services to enhance quality and improve learning spaces, support for parents to improve food security so that children don’t need to work, advocate for national labor laws and enforcement, promote social accountability, equip communities, and promote decent work for youth who are above minimum working age through providing necessary skills.
World Vision national director Rommel V. Fuerte shares, “It’s such a daunting task, some may call it a mission to be able to dream about zero child exploitation, but we wouldn’t be able to do this without every small effort. We encourage you to pray for these children and support World Vision’s work to protect children from labor and other forms of abuse and exploitation”.
Sponsoring a child is one practical way to prevent children to be exploited.
“Together, let us stand and be against child exploitation. You can volunteer at your Local Government unit initiatives and advocacies against Child Labor,” added Fuerte.
To help or report child labor incidents in Quezon City, call the QC Hotline 122 or reach out to any members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Special Protection of Street Children and Child Laborers (Task Force Sampaguita).
To support or know more about World Vision’s work around the country to protect children from labor and other forms of exploitation, abuse, and violence. Visit www.worldvision.org.ph