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The city government of Cagayan de Oro is leading an important forum as part of their dedication to raise awareness about child labor and its harmful consequences.
This activity is in line with his economic recovery program, the RISE agenda, which aims to solve social issues and promote the economic development of the city.
According to Uy, the increasing number of reported cases of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) in recent years has driven the need for such initiatives.
The forum gathered 84 representatives from the private sector, along with key agencies including the City Council for the Protection of Children (CCPC), City Inter-Agency Committee against Child Trafficking-VAWC, Department of Labor and Employment-10 , and World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. – Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE).
This collaboration is considered essential in consolidating efforts to combat child labor within the city.
Honey Jane Tulang, the head of the local committees unit of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, presented an overview of the current situation regarding OSAEC in the city.
According to him, the data collected by the local CSWD committees shows that OSAEC remains a widespread issue in the area.
The forum also featured the presentation of statistics to raise awareness about child labor and exploitation.
In 2020 alone, there were 77 reported cases of OSAEC, a significant increase from 53 cases in 2019.
These alarming numbers highlight the urgent need for collaborative action to address the issue.
In addition, the data revealed that most victims of OSAEC are girls, aged between 12 and 17 years.
Perpetrators often have close relationships with victims, such as family members, relatives, or friends, which makes detection and prevention more challenging.
Tulang stressed the importance of reporting OSAEC incidents to the authorities, as this plays an important role in preventing further exploitation and abuse.
He said the CSWD Office has established various programs and services to support victims and their families, including counseling, legal aid, and medical support.
The increase in the number of documented cases of OSAEC in Cagayan de Oro City is a cause for concern and highlights the need for continuous efforts to combat this problem, according to the forum.
The event serves as an important step to raise awareness about child labor and exploitation, with the hope that this joint effort will provide concrete actions to protect the rights and well-being of children in the city.
Participants also participated in discussions about existing programs, services, and local ordinances related to the protection of children’s rights and welfare.
The main objective of the forum is to increase the awareness of private sector participants about children’s rights and pressing issues related to the worst forms of child labor (WFCL), including OSAEC and violations of acceptable working conditions (ACW).
Earlier, Mayor Uy said that this increased awareness is expected to play a significant role in reducing the prevalence of child labor in the city.
In the coming months, the local government, leading agencies, and the private sector will continue to collaborate on various initiatives aimed at reducing incidents of child labor and OSAEC in Cagayan de Oro City.
The forum represents a significant milestone in the city’s ongoing efforts to protect the rights and welfare of children.
Mayor Uy’s unwavering commitment to addressing this critical issue sets the stage for further progress.
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