Child labour’s impact on education

Former YCW fulltime worker, Martin Delaney, reports on his PhD research project.

Consider this:
• 160 million children in child labour worldwide (roughly 1 in 10 children)
• this number is rising
• despite legislation in many countries outlawing the employment of children below 15 years of age.

• Increased risk of physical and mental harm
• Less likely to attend school
• Poor labour market outcomes
• Ongoing intergenerational poverty.

PhD Research project

I am a PhD student at Charles Darwin University, researching child labour and its impact on children’s basic education in the Philippines. In 2023, I plan to travel to the Philippines to speak with working children and their families about the hardships they face, particularly in getting to school. I am interested to know what is it they want to do? What are their aspirations? What are their strengths, their skills? What gets in the way?

Martin Delaney

A little bit about me

This journey began in the Young Christian Worker (YCW) movement in Ireland in my early 20s, organising low-paid factory workers and unemployed youth in Dublin. During my time with the YCW, I was formed in the See-Judge-Act method and spirituality, and I represented the Irish YCW at the International Council in 1991 in Adelaide. I later emigrated to Australia in 1993. Volunteering with the St Vincent de Paul Society, I saw first-hand the poverty in Adelaide’s western suburbs where I lived. This experience led to a career in Social Work.

In October 2017, I was lucky enough to accompany Sean Gehrig from Parramatta YCW to a YCW Asia-Pacific meeting in Manila. There, I was struck by the commitment of the Philippines YCW to working class youth, their radicalism, and their grasp of the See-Judge-Act method. We visited young factory workers who lived in the outskirts of Manila and listened to their stories.

How can you get involved?

I am looking to collaborate widely on this project – including with the YCW and the Cardijn Institute – to share information, experiences, and ideas. Let’s talk!

Contact Martin Delaney
Mob. +61468 914 493


ILO Asia-Pacific / Flickr / CC BY NC ND

Philippines YCW/YCS leaders warn Duterte

Filipino youth organisations, including local YCW and YCS leaders, have warned President Rodrigo Duterte not to sabotage the anti-martial law protests or use them as a “pretext” to declare nationwide martial law, GMA Network News reports.

In a statement, the groups led by Anakbayan said that doing so would hasten his “fascist” regime’s downfall.

“By churning out ridiculous gags – from declaring September 21 a ‘national day of protest’ to challenging protesters to ‘occupy EDSA’, Duterte hopes to sabotage protests and discourage people from joining. The Filipino youth and people will prove him wrong,” said Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

“Mr. Duterte, if you think declaring nationwide martial law will make you escape accountability for all your accumulated crimes against the Filipino people and continue your tyranny, then you are dead wrong. It is better if you just step down,” he added.

“Mr. Duterte, we are warning you. Your current rush towards outright fascist rule and threats of using the full force of the police and military apparatus to quell dissent is only bound to fuel more resistance and hasten your downfall.”

Students and youth groups from the country’s biggest universities will participate in the massive collective action set on September 21, the 45th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law in 1972.

Anakbayan said protesters in Metro Manila on Wednesday will march towards the gates of Malacañang Palace and stage a program at 1:00 p.m.

Signatories included Student Catholic Action (Philippines YCS) and Errol Alonzo on behalf of the YCW.

Youth groups to Duterte: Don’t use Sept. 21 protests as excuse to impose martial law (GMA Network News)


Presidential Communications Operations Office / Wikipedia