MANILA, Philippines – For her “tireless struggle” against child labor and trafficking, Filipina Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is one of the 2 recipients of the World’s Children’s Honorary Award.
The award was given by the World’s Children’s Prize, an educational program involving 24.5 million pupils in 102 countries. Flores-Oebanda started working at age 5, and has since committed herself to fighting for the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable children.
She founded the Visayan Forum, an organization that has rescued tens of thousands of girls from slave labor and trafficking.
The other recipient of the World’s Children’s Honorary Award is Monira Rahman of Bangladesh. Her organization, ASF, helped reduce the number of acid attacks in her country by saving hundreds of child victims of acid and petrol dousing.
She has also sent some victims abroad for extensive plastic surgery.
This year’s recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child is Murhabazi Namagabe from D.R. Congo for his “dangerous struggle to free children forced to be child soldiers or sex slaves.”
Namagabe visits armed groups to inform them about children’s rights, and offers protection to freed child soldiers.
Candidates are chosen by a child jury, with support from teachers and organizations across the globe. Among the patrons of the World’s Children’s Prize are Nelson Mandela, H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and Graca Machel.