Feature: DOLE anti-child labor approach -- prevention, protection, removal, reintegration
Koronadal City (1 October) -- These now are the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) basic approaches to address the issue of child labor.
Labor secretary Marianito Roque in a report said that this policy is now rigorously implemented by agencies of the government, as he stressed, "it is the avowed policy of the government to say, ‘No to Child Labor."
"The DOLE, particularly, confronts the issue of child labor through prevention, protection, removal, and reintegration. Our vision is a child labor-free Philippines, and we are working to attain this vision," he added.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) had placed the number of child laborers in the Philippines at 800,000, but the National Statistics Office, in a Survey of Children in 2001, pegged the number at 2.4 million.
The DOLE estimates that that there are 2.1 million Filipino child workers, mostly in the agriculture sector.
Child labor refers to work performed by a person below the age of 15. It also pertains to work by a person below the age of 18 in dangerous and hazardous conditions.
Roque said, "to prevent child labor, the DOLE has in place education and awareness-raising programs" as it also provides legal, health and psychological services.
DOLE's Kabuhayan para sa Magulang ng Batang Manggagawa, (KaSaMa), provides livelihood skills training and financial assistance to parents so they will earn money and be able to send their children to school, instead of work.
Roque also said that the Philippines has sufficient laws, rules and regulations to protect child laborers. This he said has led the ILO to cite the Philippines in 1996 for its efforts in curbing child labor.
"We may have come a long way in our efforts to ensure decent work and advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in the country through the dedicated enforcement of anti-child labor laws, but we are not about to stop," Roque declared.
"We continue to exercise strong political will in the fight against child labor and its worst forms," he added. (ac agad PIA 12) [top]