BuildCA2P: Building Capacity, Awareness, Advocacy and Programs Project
The BuildCA2P Project works to build the capacity of Filipino civil society to more effectively detect and combat child labor and other labor abuses in the agricultural sector in Mindanao, Philippines. It leverages partnerships with academic and advocacy organizations to build a grassroots movement, empower vulnerable families, connect survivors to grievance mechanisms and services, and reduce the risk that children will be harmed by performing hazardous work in agriculture.
The Mindanao region has one of the highest populations of child laborers in the Philippines. More than half (58.4%) of the child laborers in Mindanao are engaged in exploitative labor in the agricultural sector, including in the production of bananas, coconuts, corn, and rice. Children working on crop plantations are exposed to extreme heat and hazardous chemicals. Many work up to ten hours per day without adequate protection or rest time. While the government of the Philippines prohibits the employment of children below the age of 15 years, plantations often use a pakyaw (quota) system to hire workers, including children as young as five years old, to lower production costs. Civil society organizations (CSOs) play a critical role in working with and supporting local government on the implementation of relevant laws and policies to eliminate labor abuses. However, CSOs require some assistance in building their capacity to address the growing problems more effectively.
The BuildCA2P Project supports Mindanao’s civil society to better understand and address child labor and promote acceptable conditions of work in the production of bananas, coconuts, corn, and rice. The project does this by seeking to improve the capacity of civil society organizations to:
- identify and document accurate, independent, and objective information on the nature and scope of child labor and violations of acceptable conditions of work;
- raise awareness for the protection of workers from labor abuses; and
- implement confidential reporting mechanisms, develop case management systems, and create financially sustainable small-scale direct service pilot programs to keep children in school and to prevent dropping-out due to child labor.
The project works with three CSOs in the provinces of Bukidnon, North Cotabato, and Davao del Norte. Project activities support these CSOs by helping them build their skills in data collection methods, utilizing data, conducting awareness raising through existing channels in creative ways, advocating for the implementation of relevant policies to their local authorities, and establishing and/or invigorating efficient and effective grievance and referral mechanisms.
- To raise awareness about the risks of child labor, the project the project launched a multimedia campaign to raise awareness about the risks of child labor to an audience that included children, parents, farmers, landowners, policymakers, media practitioners, local government agencies, and the private sector. The messages also included measures to protect children and families from COVID-19 transmission.
- When COVID-19 hit the Philippines, the project quickly realigned its priorities to serve those most vulnerable to among Mindanao’s population, child laborers and their families. The project improved the resiliency of 3,297 child laborers and their families in this challenging time by providing food and livelihood support.
- The project trained its three partner civil society organizations partners in conducting research on crop agriculture supply chains. With this training, these civil society organizations are better equipped to identify and document accurate, independent, and objective information on the nature and scope of child labor in the supply chain of the four target agricultural crops (banana, coconut, corn, and rice).