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SIFI Advocacy on Child Labor Yields Good Practices

In the last 4 years, SIFI has been involved in the ABK3 Leap Project which aims to reduce child labor (CL) in sugarcane areas around the country. SIFI is an integral force in spreading awareness about how children’s right to education should be upheld and how every child should be prevented from hazardous labor.
SIFI’s main strategy was to organize, capacitate and deploy more than 700 Child Rights Advocates (CRAs) located within 57 sugar barangays nationwide to disseminate information, conduct “pulong- pulongs” and influence local legislative councils to issue ordinances, policies and resolutions affecting child CL mitigation. In most of these ordinances, budget allocations for sustained CL community orientations have been provided. CRAs who are also small planters are strictly enforcing no CL policy in their farms.
The Voluntary Codes of Conduct drawn up by sugar stakeholders from Bukidnon, Batangas and Negros Occidental have helped to reinforce good practices of child labor reduction.
Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) groups were engaged by SIFI utilizing the CRA strategy and popularization of the Code which has resulted in positive enforcement among members, allocation and use of their own funds in school supplies provision, health and tuition subsidy, or livelihood to families at risk of CL. To date, more than 50 ARBs/farmer-coops have been trained and capacitated; this is still work in progress.
Presently, SIFI continues to reach out to more sugar communities and ARBs to adopt the Code, raise awareness about CL and provide budget and projects for interventions.