There are an estimated 272 million international migrants around the globe, representing 3.5% of the world’s population (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2019, International Organization for Migration 2020). Of this number, 30 million are children (United Nations Children’s Fund 2018). In the Philippines, around 205,715 Filipinos aged 14 years old and below left the country between 2007-2017 (Commission on Filipinos Overseas 2017). This age group constitutes the youngest and the largest percentage of Filipinos who move overseas for a variety of motivations. Migrant children across the globe often face systemic challenges in continuing education obtained in home countries, and accessing education in destination countries. As a migrant source country, the Philippines must grasp the current and available child-migrant related programs of the host countries, the accessibility, quality and type of such educational opportunities afforded to child-migrants, and programs provided by the Philippine government for repatriated children of Filipino migrants.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), guided by its rights-based and child-sensitive approach, advances the inclusion of migrant children in national child protection systems as well as in all migration policies and programs that impact children as captured by the GCM Objective 7: address and reduce vulnerabilities in migration. In addition, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development pushes for SDG 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities
for all,” including migrant children.
The University of the Philippines (UP) – CIFAL Philippines, UP Asian Center, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Department of Education, Diaspora 4 Education, and United Nations Children’s Fund hosted an online discussion to provide an overview of the existing laws, policies and programs in relation to educational experiences of Filipino migrant children on July 31, 2020.