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The fight against child labour in PHL

Any fight is difficult to win, and to win a war a strong army is needed. The same is true with eliminating child labour.

Armed with commitment and fresh mandates, representatives of government and non-government organizations in four provinces met together, crying out that enough was enough; child labour had to be brought to an end. They saw the need to form provincial bodies that would oversee efforts to eliminate child labour, a major threat to the future of their children and youth, a major threat to the future of their people. Provincial Child Labor Committees (PCLC) were formally organized in the provinces of Quezon, Bukidnon, Northern Samar and Masbate in October 2010.

Governor Paul Daza issued an Executive Order to establish the Committee in Northern Samar, an official provincial body. The Governors of the other provinces committed to finalizing similar Executive Orders in coming months. The ILO’s International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), pledged support to enable the PCLCs to reach goals to eradicate the Worst Forms of Child Labor (WFCL) that they had set for their respective provinces.

At the central level, the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) has built capacity to achieve the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) goal of a 75 per cent reduction in the incidence of the Worst Forms of Child Labour by 2015. Part of the programme is to improve coordination and collaboration between the national committee and PCLCs.

IPEC, with funding support from the US Department of Labor, is implementing Phase 2 of a “Time-Bound Programme” on the elimination of WFCL. The Project pursues intervention at the national and local levels with direct services for 9,350 children. These services will withdraw 5,500 children from worst forms of labour, and prevent 3,350 ‘at-risk’ children from joining the workforce. An additional 500 working children, aged15-17, will be reached by intervention that protect their safety and welfare.

These goals are within reach with the strengthening of Child Labor Committees, but we cannot be complacent. The war continues, the war against child labour, with ambitious goals to be reached by 2015.

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