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PIA Press Release

ABK initiative vs child labor gets UN support

by ES Subong

Iloilo City (28 September) -- The ABK Initiative, which stands for "Pag-Aaral ng Bata para sa Kinabukasan has gained the support of the latest UN Report when the latter exposed child labor as tough enemy, among the other crimes committed against children.

The UN Report declared that violence has no place in the lives of children, as it undermines childhood, threatens the survival, well-being and future prospects of childhood.

In the Philippines over 2 million children are living desperate, unprotected lives as "invisible" workers engaged in the six worst forms of child labor, namely, pyrotechnics production, mining and quarrying, sugarcane plantations, deep-sea fishing, domestic work and commercial and sexual exploitation.

In a press statement, ABK contact person Lolita Lachica said ABK Initiative targets the rescue of about 30,000 Filipino children trapped in these worst forms of child labor for the duration of the project, through and intervention that focuses on education.

In the same press statement, Lachica said ABK Initiative is determined to give children access to formal and non-formal education in collaboration with the Department of Education.

In the Visayas Region, ABK Initiative's partnership with the DepEd has realized an approach called "open enrolment policy" which ends the chronic apathy in the school climate towards child workers who have quit school and would like to return at any time within the school year.

ABK Initiative Project implementers said child workers rescued and enrolled thru ABK Initiative have now altered mindsets on importance of education and the negative effects of hazardous work to their well-being.

As of date, ABK Initiative has assisted more than 32,000 children in various areas in the NCR, Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao and Compostela Valley, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental. (PIA 6) [top]

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