Child labour

Keynote address at the Philippine Fashion Week

By Khalid Hassan, Country Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines, delivered by Hideki Kagohashi, Enterprise Development Specialist at the Philippine Fashion Week, 26 May 2018, Makati, Philippines

Statement | Makati, Philippines | 26 May 2018
Distinguished partners and guests, ladies and gentlemen, good evening!

It is an honour to join you tonight and to deliver this message on behalf of ILO Director Khalid Hassan.

The International Labour Organization promotes social justice and decent work. The ILO brings together governments, employers and workers and gives them an equal voice in improving conditions and life at work. Next year, the ILO will mark its Centenary or 100 years in 2019.

In the Philippines, the ILO implements the CARING Gold Mining Project funded by the United States Department of Labor, and in coordination with the National Child Labor Committee chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment.

The project aims to address child labour and poor working conditions in small scale gold mines. ILO works with BAN Toxics to reach out to mining communities in Camarines Norte and South Cotabato, and to help them transition from the informal to formal economy.

The ILO believes that this is a key to sustainably and safely work, and to comply with environmental, health and labour standards. This in essence embodies the Compassionate Gold brand to be launched today.

Child labour is a complex issue. Children as young as 5 years old risk their health or even their lives to earn a few pesos. Some of the products that we use daily could have been made by a child. Companies may buy raw goods and materials without knowing that those were produced under dangerous and poor working conditions.

The clothes and shoes that you wear, the mobile phones that you use, or the chocolates that you eat could have been made by a child. Tackling child labour in small scale gold mines and in supply chains requires joint efforts.

The Compassionate Gold Brand ensures responsible mining practices. To guarantee the brand’s integrity, the CARING Gold Mining project will pilot a multi-agency industry monitoring body to certify compliance.

The CARING Gold Mining Project is grateful to the Philippine Fashion Week for joining the ILO and BAN Toxics in the fight against child labour and the call for decent work.

We thank each of you tonight as well for your presence. Please join us in promoting decent work and in helping end the worst forms of child labour. We count on you to ensure a bright future for the Filipino children - a future without child labour!

Thank you!