Manila – The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) co-organized the celebration of the 2019 World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) with the theme, “Children should not work in fields, but on dreams” (“Hayaan ang mga batang mangarap, nang huwag malugmok sa trabahong mahirap”), last June 29, at the GSIS Theater in Pasay City.

Present during the event were Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Director Mr. Khalid Hassan, Bureau of Workers with Special Conditions (BWSC) Director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, together with senior officials and employees from the ILS led by Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba, Acting Deputy Executive Director Patrick P. Patriwirawan, Jr., and Workers Welfare Research Division Chief Maria Isabel D. Artajo, who served as the Overall-In-Charge of the event. Technical support was provided by members of the Institute’s Advocacy and Publications Division.

During his speech, Secretary Bello reminded hundreds of students who attended the event to pursue their education that will help them land decent employment towards a successful life away from any abuse and exploitation.

“Education is the best vehicle to a brighter future. Pursue your education and that is the best anathema to child labor,” Secretary Bello said.

Ms. Thetis Mangahas, former ILO-IPEC (ILO – International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor) Manager, also gave a special message for the event, and Federation of Free Workers (FFW) Assistant Vice President Mr. Julius H. Cainglet provided the overview of the celebration and activities for that day. Selected grade 9 and students from various Dep-Ed managed schools together with their respective faculty, youth advocates, and other stakeholders actively took part during the day’s celebration.

The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), through the Federation of Free Workers, chair of the Knowledge Management and Advocacy Subcommittee, co-led the event, which was divided into two (2) sessions, which consisted of a morning session presented as a TED-X type forum highlighting the important milestones of the Philippines in its campaign against child labor. The morning activities also covered the important milestones of the Philippines in its campaign against child labor in terms of a) enforcement and monitoring; b) service delivery; c) research; and d) advocacy.

The afternoon session showcased a “Career Orientation Seminar” for secondary school students. The 2019 celebration of the World Day Against Child Labor coincided with ILO’s 100th year of promoting and advancing social justice and decent work and looks back on the 100 years of ILO actions to tackle child labor. This year also marks the 20th year since the adoption of ILO Convention 182 also known as Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention.

Broadcast journalist, Ms. Jing Castañeda, who herself is an advocate of children’s rights, served as the event’s host and moderator.