'SCREAM' program on children’s rights takes off in BARMM

John Unson - Philstar.com
'SCREAM' program on children�s rights takes off in BARMM
The foreign-assisted children’s rights protection workshop involving Bangsamoro agencies culminated on Nov. 30, 2023.
Philstar.com / John Unson

KORONADAL CITY — Officials of five agencies on Thursday wrapped up their four-day workshop on the expansion of a foreign-funded children’s rights protection campaign in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The representatives of BARMM’s education, local government and labor ministries, the Development Academy of Bangsamoro and the Bangsamoro Youth Commission who participated in the four-day activity in a function facility of the Villa Amor Hotel here shall cooperate in implementing the “Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, the Arts and the Media,” or SCREAM campaign in all of BARMM’s six provinces and three cities.

The SCREAM, whose main benefactors are the Japanese government and the International Labour Organization of the United Nations, aims to extensively promote cross-section awareness on children’s rights and the need to support transnational anti-child labor thrusts.

Elias Salazar, ILO’s project officer in BARMM, said on Thursday that they are to test the SCREAM’s implementation soon in Cotabato City, in Wao, Lanao del Sur and in South Upi, Maguindanao del Sur with the support of the agencies represented in the four-day workshop here.

Salazar said that they are thankful to the officials of the BARMM agencies and the Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People (IRDT), a non-government organization that has anti-child labor programs in the autonomous region, for aggressively helping push forward various activities complementing the SCREAM.

The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government on Thursday vowed to compel Sangguniang Kabataan officials in Wao, in South Upi and in Cotabato City to support the so-called “pilot testing” of SCREAM in the three areas.

“We can also encourage the local government units in these areas to get involved in that initiative,” BARMM Regional Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said.

Bai Sara Jane Sinsuat, director of the Bureau of Employment, Promotion and Welfare of the Ministry of Labor and Employment-BARMM, said their minister, Muslimin Sema, is just as ready to support the SCREAM program.

"Minister Sema can influence big companies in BARMM that have large labor forces to support its implementation," Sinsuat said.

Sinsuat and Salazar separately explained that the SCREAM has educators who are to use 14 modules as education packages as guides for its implementation.

The SCREAM has modules pertaining to human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and child labor in agriculture, according to Salazar. 

The Japanese government, the ILO, the MoLE, the MILG and the IRDT are together campaigning against child labor and use of children as combatants in BARMM.

There is high prevalence of child labor in some areas in BARMM’s Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces and in the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan and Marawi due to poverty caused by decades of secessionist strife.

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