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PIA Press Release
2007/06/22

Latest UN report backs ABK call vs child labor

by AD Cahilog

Davao City (22 June) -- The latest UN report exposes the child labor phenomenon as tough enemy, among other unspeakable crimes committed against children worldwide.

The report declared that violence has no place in the lives of children. It undermines childhood, threatens the survival, well-being and future prospect6s of children across the globe and effectively denies from their childhood.

The millions of children who are victims of violence each year are living proof that the world has failed to protect them.

In the Philippines alone, over 2 million children are living desperate, unprotected lives as “invisible” workers engaged in six worst form of child labor. These children who insist poverty as culprit to premature adulthood are found wasted in pyrotechnics production, mining & quarrying, sugarcane plantations, deep sea fishing, domestic work and commercial & sexual exploitation.

Key messages in the violence against Children Global Report toughen the agenda of ABK initiative in the Philippines to address the criminal, immoral and unconscionable practice of child labor. ABK initiatives stands for “Pag-aaral ng Bata para sa Kinabukasan”.

World Vision is the lead agency in the implementation of the fourth-year, multi-million dollar-project along with partners namely: Christian Children’s fund (CCF), Educational Research and Development Assistance Foundation, Inc. (ERDA) and Plan Philippines for ABK Initiative is provided by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) under cooperative agreement E-9-K-3-0055.

ABK is also determined to give children to formal and non formal-education, with the quality of both educational methods improved further. This is done in collaboration with Department of Education.

It is shamefully true the present education setting contribute to child labor. Oftentimes, children would rather work than study simply because there is no access to schools (distance, no school at all) in their areas. As a result, there are parents who would opt to keep their children at home to learn a skill such as agriculture and supplement family income.

In the Philippines about 4 million children contribute largely to cash flows in the family. When children drop out of school, it is not necessarily because of irresponsible parenting; it may be due to family’s financial situation. When these children leave school, they become potential workers.

At present juncture, the project has assisted more than 32,000 children in the areas of National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Ilo-Ilo, Cebu, Davao and Compostela Valley, Negros Occidental and Oriental Negros. (ABK/PIA-XI) [top]

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