The Department of Labor and Employment has called on the private sector to join the government in combating the alarming increase of child labor in the country, as the country observed the World Day against Child Labor.
In a press statement, the labor department cited the Philippine Statistics Authority report that an estimated 95 percent of the 2.1-million child laborers in the country are exposed to hazardous work.
The PSA report said 69 percent of these young laborers are 15 to 17 years old, below the minimum allowable age for work but still exposed to life-threatening work.
“Children work in farms and plantations, in dangerous mines, on streets, in factories, and in private homes as child domestic workers,” DoLE said.
Agriculture remains the sector where most child laborers can be found at 58 percent of the workforce, PSA data showed.
The agency’s survey prompted calls for “convergence efforts” from various government and non-government organizations to combat child labor and its worst forms, the department statement added.
Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, chairman of the National Child Labor Committee, encouraged all concerned to join the annual celebration at San Andres Sports Complex, in Malate, Manila on Saturday (June 23) for a clear understanding of the issue, and become active partners of the government in ending child labor.
“Despite significant advancement we achieved against child labor, we will continue to work together to achieve a child-labor free Philippines and provide clear understanding of child labor issues among the poor households whose children are at risk of being child laborers,” Maglunsod said.
With the theme, “Ligtas sa Paggawa, Malusog na Batang Malaya” (Free from Labor, Healthy and Free Children) the celebration, which is packed with performances from various groups, will focus on the need to end child labor and improve the safety and health of young workers in the country.
Also, DoLE Project Angel Tree Team, a community of sponsors committed to provide aid to child laborers and their families, will provide bags, school supplies, and jackets to hundreds of child laborers during the event.
These initiatives of the labor department are aligned with the Philippine Development Plan 2017 to 2022, which targets to reduce the cases of child labor by 30 percent or 630,000 from the estimated 2.1 million child laborers nationwide.
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