A lot of times we dismiss the sight of children in places where they shouldn’t be like busy streets, around a garbage dump, a bar way past their bedtime at that or out in the fields with crops that are taller than them.
Their true plight is hidden in their smiles--all 3 million of them who are enslaved in the world of child labor in the Philippines.
Child Labor, according to the International Labor Organization, “is work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and mental development.” It also refers to any work that: is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; and interferes with their schooling by: depriving them of the opportunity to attend school; obliging them to leave school prematurely; or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.
It is with this backdrop that the Development Communication (DevComm) Class from the Mass Communication Department of St. Scholastica’s College (SSC) Manila, together with the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) headed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) conceptualized a Public Service Announcement (PSA) Making Contest entitled “Produce, Share, Advocate: The Batang Malaya PSA making contest.”
This aims to raise public awareness on the issue of child labor in the Philippines while encouraging the youth to join the fight against this persistent and prevalent phenomenon. It seeks to utilize the skills and talent of the new generation in new media. Not only can they associate with videos they have easily mastered it use, too, way faster than generations ahead of them. They can therefore be very effective are agents who can awaken society on child labor.
Scholasticans, known for their active participation in alleviating issues of the marginalized in the public sphere once again participates in the continuing battle against child labor. This time, fourth year Development Communication students who spent their internship at the FFW got exposed to the issue by participating in the activities of the FFW and the NCLC.
They saw the need for more participation of the youth in upholding the rights of the #BatangMalaya by fighting child labor. They were inspired by the previous DevComm batch, who spearheaded and conceptualized last year’s Stop and Shoot Batang Malaya Photo Competition which was participated in by the College students of SSC Manila.
They saw how effective the contest was in mobilzing SSC students for a good cause. Now, they want the experience to spread to other schools and the communities and workplaces where there are youth. They believe the youth, with their, passion and heart for social change have the capacity to unveil the prevalent but usually invisible phenomenon of child labor in the country through powerful and moving images they would capture in film.
To widen the reach of the PSA Making Contest, SSC-Manila's Mass Communication Department (Development Communication students), the Communication Society (CommSoc), NCLC, FFW and the ILO also partnered with the Metro Manila Alliance of Communication Student (MACS).
Through this PSA Making Contest, we encourage YOU, the youth of today to join the fight against Child Labor. Grab your handy cameras, open your lenses and together let’s press that record button, “dahil lahat ng bata ay may karapatang maging #batangmalaya!”.