PH asked to step up fight vs child labor
MANILA, Philippines - The government needs to allocate more funds for programs that address the root causes of child labor after the last survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed there are 5.6 million working children in the country, the Visayan Forum (VF) Foundation said on Thursday, June 28.
VF founder and executive director Cecilia Flores-Oebanda noted that "the increase in the number of child laborers, especially children trapped in worst forms of child labor, is a jarring wake-up call and clearly demonstrates that the anti-child labor programs and implementation mechanisms that we have at present are just not working.”
The NSO's 2011 Survey on Children, released on Tuesday, June 25, showed there are now 5.6 million working Filipino children, 37% more than the 4 million registered in 2001, when the study was last conducted.
Almost 3 million kids aged 5-17 years old are reported to be in hazardous working conditions, defined by the International Labor Organization as "being likely to harm the children's health, safety or morals by the nature or circumstances of the work."
That figure is up from under 2.4 million in 2001, when the Philippines vowed to decrease the number of working children by 75% in 2015.
“Despite this target, we did not see any commensurate investments on the part of our government partners,” Oebanda said in a statement.
The VF also called for the strengthening of the National Child Labor Committee so the multi-agency coordinating body led by the Department of Labor and Employment can integrate child labor concerns in existing anti-poverty programs and services.
In addition, Oebanda noted that almost a decade after the enactment of Republic Act 9231 against child labor, not a single offender has been convicted of the crime.
“We are optimistic that the current Aquino administration will view this as a challenge and will crack the whip against those who exploit children’s labor,” she said.
Oebanda added, "Our leaders must realize that this is an urgent issue. Children in worst forms of child labor simply cannot wait.” - Rappler.com
Click on the links below for more:
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- New grant to help informal garbage collectors
- ILO calls for renewed fight vs child labor
- Small-scale mining: A 3-decade industry that kills
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