Bangsamoro, UN-ILO boost campaign vs child labor

COTABATO CITY ( June 1, 2023)- THE LABOR agencies of the Bangsamoro government and United Nations (UN), with support from the Japanese government, have expanded cooperation against child labor through capacity-building programs that will enhance efforts at the community level.   
The Bangsamoro Ministry of Labor and Employment (MoLE) and the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) held an extensive workshop in Cotabato City last week aimed at strengthening the enforcement of anti-child labor laws in the autonomous region.  

“The three-day activity was just an initial activity. We shall have more soon. We appreciate the efforts of the ILO. It is a strong partner in furthering peace and sustainable development in the Bangsamoro region,” Bangsamoro Labor Minister Muslimin G. Sema told reporters on Thursday.   
Addressing child labor in the region includes response programs against the use of children as combatants.   

Mr. Sema said the office of Khalid Hassan, ILO’s country director for the Philippines, was a main benefactor of the three-day workshop that involved employees and officials of Bangsamoro agencies that are in the forefront of the regional government’s campaign to totally stop child labor in the local communities.  

MoLE Director-General Surab A. Abutazil said their efforts to address child labor and child soldiers are attuned to the socio-economic and humanitarian objectives of the government’s separate peace compacts with the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation.  

Mohammad O. Pasigan, chairman of the Bangsamoro Regional Board of Investments, said their support for the program includes compelling investors in different capital-intensive agricultural and industrial projects to oblige their workers to help the MoLE and ILO stop child labor in their respective communities.  
Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo also vowed support to the campaign, saying the police have been directed to report to the MoLE detected cases of child labor.  

The anti-child labor workshop was facilitated by the Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People (IRDP), a non-government peace-advocacy organization based in Zamboanga City.  

Kalma J. Isnain, executive director of IRDP, said they have community and social development activities as well as humanitarian and emergency response programs in various parts of southern Philippines.