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Child Protection Groups Urge Community Support to Curb Child Labor

Community support is critical in the  reduction if not the total elimination  of child labor, said a group of child protection specialists on national  television  during the recent national observance of World Day Against Child Labor 2011 (WDACL).

In an interview over National Broadcasting Network-4, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) Education Director Raffy Mapalo  said there is a  great need  to help  families achieve decent living to  prevent their children from falling into  child labor.

“Being in school is the priority for children,” Mapalo  said. “Work should be light and must  be carried out only during their  free time.”

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Assistant Secretary Ma. Theresa M. Soriano, on the other hand, called on the  whole community -  from  the police to  the families  and their neighbors – to  work together to ensure that children are protected.


Soriano recalled a  case of sisters from Laguna province who  were  allegedly sold by their parents to a bar owner in Tacloban City. The 13-year old was tasked  to  toil in the kitchen while the 15-year old was  forced  to  dance for the bar’s clients.  Authorities were able to  rescue the siblings through information gathered from the community.

Children in prostitution is one of the  worst  forms of child labor. Other forms of hazardous work include those in  agriculture, deep-sea fishing  and in mining.

Mapalo said partners under the Philippine Program Against Child Labor  (PPACL) are  aiming at reducing  child labor incidence by 2016.


For his part, Giovanni Soledad  of the  International Labour Organisation International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO-IPEC) pointed out  that providing livelihood assistance to augment and improve family income would  help  reduce child labor incidence.

Soledad  added  that  the ILO will support the National Statistics Office (NSO) in the conduct of a  national survey to see the  actual picture of child labor in the country.

In 2001,  NSO reported that  some   four million  children are  in  child work  and  some 2.4 million are  exposed  to hazardous environment. (culled from Philippine Information Agency  News  Release as  reported by Lyndon Plantilla)

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