one barangay at a time says Baldoz; at Zamboanga city dumpsite..; and DOLE provides definition of child labor-related terms
Posted on July 4th By labour communications
One barangay at a time, says Baldoz
On World Day Against Child Labor rites, DOLE vows firm resolve to make barangays child labor-free
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE is participating in the country’s celebration of World Day Against Child Labor today, Tuesday, 26 June, with “a very determined” resolve to make every barangay of the country’s over 1,500 municipalities child labor free to achieve the country’s goal of reducing by 75 percent all worst forms of child labor by 2015, which is anchored on the millennium development goals of achieving universal education (MDG2) , which is contingent on freedom from labor to allow children to attend school and perform well.
“As we celebrate World Day Against Child Labor in the Philippines, we at the DOLE reiterate our pledge to do our utmost in making every barangay in the country with high child labor incidence child labor-free. In carrying out this resolve, we will take it one barangay at a time. We will meet the challenge head-on,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz issued the statement during the launching of the Batang Malaya, the National Child Labor Committee’s new and scaled up campaign for a child labor-free Philippines at the Frontera Verde,Pasig City, which was highlighted by the release of the National Statistics Office of the results of its 2011 Survey on Children.
The survey, conducted by the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO), is the first survey that utilized the ILO framework for statistical identification of working children, or children in employment, child labor, and hazardous child labor.
The preliminary results of the survey showed there are 5.492 million working children 5-17 years old as of October 2011.
Of this number, more than one-half, or 55.1 percent, or 3.028 million, were counted as child labor and 2.993 million (54.5 percent) reported to be exposed to hazardous child labor.
Under the law, child labor is defined as any work or economic activity performed by a child that subjects him/her to any form of exploitation, or is harmful to his/her health and safety or physical, mental, or psycho-social development.
On the other hand, hazardous child labor refers to employment in industries and occupations designated as hazardous under the country’s OSH standards.
Baldoz welcomed the results of the survey saying it will provide the government a more accurate and more comprehensive picture of the child labor situation in the country which the previous 1995 and 2001 surveys did not make available.
For instance, she cited one finding of the survey which showed that of the total number of child labor, 69.5 percent, or 2.106 million, are attending school.
“Retention in school of the 69.5 percent of the child laborers and bringing back to school the 30.5 percent require a very focused and serious effort,” Baldoz said.
She hastened to explain, though, that the 2011Survey on Children, which is a rider survey to the NSO’s October 2011 Labor Force Survey, does not capture other worst forms of child labor as defined under ILO Convention 182 and as adopted by R.A. 9231, otherwise known as An Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child.
These worst forms of child labor include all forms of slavery, e.g., trafficking, recruitment for armed conflict; prostitution and pornography; and illicit activities, e.g., drug trafficking.
“We will use the results of this survey as a baseline for a more responsive programming against child labor in general and hazardous child labor in particular,” she said.
For instance, she said the survey’s finding that the total number of child labor, 69.5 percent, or 2.106 million, are attending school.
Baldoz emphasized that even before the conduct of the survey, the government has been focusing on convergence programs in providing services to child laborers and their families, with the DOLE, DSWD, and non-government organizations providing livelihood assistance to parents and DepEd providing alternative learning modes for children.
“Our convergence efforts extend to the removal of children from abject work conditions through the Sagip Batang Manggagawa mechanism, which has resulted to the filing of cases and closure of establishments in cooperation with NGOs and civil society organizations,” Baldoz said.
The labor and employment chief particularly emphasized the DOLE’s scaled-up campaign, the Child-Labor Free Barangay Campaign, which seeks to declare 80 barangays in 16 regions this year as child-labor free.
“In this campaign, we at the DOLE, together with the DSWD and DILG, are working at strengthening the Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPCs) to transform, initially, some 80 barangays into child labor-free barangays, especially those identified under the government’s “609 focused municipalities”, she said.
She outlined the next steps in the battle against child labor, saying that on the issue of education alongside work, as recommended by the ILO Committee on Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendation, the National Child Labor Committee is working to resolve the gap between the age of completion of compulsory education and the minimum age for work or admission to employment, which is 15 years old, for us to fully comply with ILO Convention 182. This matter needs legislative amendment and is also being studied by the NCLC.
She also bared that the NCLC, in collaboration with the ILO Manila, will formulate an inter-agency action plan for the period July 2012-June 2016 and to be presented to the Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster for its approval and implementation. One of the features of this plan is the institutionalization of child labor in the NSO’s Labor Force Survey every July-round through addition of child labor-related questions.
Finally, Secretary Baldoz said the DOLE’s strengthened enforcement of labor laws, including the enforcement of the provisions of RA 9231 that prohibits child labor, sets the child’s working hours, and penalizes violators, will further get a boost with President’s creation of additional 372 labor inspectors who will focus on labor law compliance.
“We have just upped the ante in our fight against child labor and we are prepared for it,” she said.
At Zamboanga City dumpsite, DOLE-9 and partners pledge to free children scavengers from worst form of child labor
In a bid to underscore the urgency of the goal of a child labor-free Philippines, the DOLE Regional Office No. 9 last week chose to launch its regional Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays at Brgy. Lumbangan, the City of Zamboanga’s dumpsite.
The regional campaign is part of the DOLE’s wider national campaign to declare 80 barangays, or five per region, as child-labor free by the end of 2012. The DOLE’s newest anti-child labor project kicked off last month, with no less than Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz leading the launching rites at the Occupational Safety and Health Center in Quezon City.
DOLE Regional Office No. 9 Director Sisinio B. Cano has reported the launching to be a success, saying his choice of the dumpsite was wise. During the launch, the DOLE handed out school packs to 20 child scavengers in exchange for their scavenging tools. With the school packs, they promised to return to school and to stop scavenging.
“All our partners in the fight against child labor came in full force during the launching, demonstrating their commitment to make the Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays a signal turn in the region’s anti-child labor crusade,” Cano said.
Brgy. Lumbangan, 12 kilometers east of Zamboanga, has been the city’s garbage dump for the past 20 years and is home to child scavengers and children collecting trash for a living.
It is one of five barangays the DOLE regional office has targeted to be declared child labor-free by the end of the year. The other four are Brgy. Market Site in Isabela City, Basilan; Brgy. Diplahan, Sta. Cruz, Zamboanga Sibugay; Brgy. Baybay, Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte; and Brgy. Bulatoc, Pagadian City.
RD Cano said the both the parents of the child laborers and the child laborers themselves will be central focus of the DOLE’s efforts under the Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays.
“Through our commitment, and hopefully, with a lot of help of other stakeholders, we can effect change by teaching the parents other means of livelihood so they will stop forcing their children to work. Here in Brgy. Lumbangan, we will rescue the scavengers from the unsafe condition at the dumpsite and send them back to school where they truly belong,” Cano said.
In response to the DOLE’s call to make Brgy. Lumbangan a child labor-free barangay, Brgy. Lumbangan chairman Rogelio B. Arcillas presented a resolution issued and approved by the Sangguniang Barangay echoing their support for the elimination of child labor in the barangay.
At the launching, Rogelio B. Arcillas, barangay chairman of Lumbangan; Councilor Lilia Macrohon-Nuño, chairperson of the Committee on Women and Children, Sangguniang Panglunsod; Francisco L. Barredo, department head, Office of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO); Mohammad Taha S. Arakama, city director, Department of Interior and Local Government; Frederick Ian Capin, regional director, Commission on Human Rights; Sr. Supt. Edgar Danao, head, CIDG-PNP; and representatives of the regional offices of the Department of Health, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippine National Police-Zamboanga City Police Office, and the Employees Compensation Commission, joined Regional Director Cano and other DOLE regional officials and employees, namely Assistant Regional Director Virginia L. Bonbon and Ian A. Lahi, head of the DOLE Zamboanga City Field Office in expressing their full support to the campaign. The event was covered by the media, led by ABS-CBN, TV 11, and ZIMNET Online.
The highlight of the launching was the signing by the DOLE, its partners, and other stakeholders of the document, the Commitment of Support, and their public pronouncement of their pledge to ensure the realization of the Child Labor-Free Barangays.
DOLE provides definition of child labor-related terms
Are you reporting on child labor? Then, it would help if you first familiarize yourself with the definition of child labor-related terminologies.
This was the advice of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday during the Philippine celebration of World Day Against Child Labor at the Fun Ranch at the Frontera Verde in Pasig City.
In a morning program organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in cooperation with the DOLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns and with the government’s private sector partners at the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), Baldoz said the DOLE, through the BWSC, is offering help to the media wanting to do reporting on child labor or to advocate for its elimination.
“Our fight against child labor can be easily grasped if we have a common understanding of the issue, and that understanding begins with a set of useful definitions on child labor,” she said, urging the media to help in disseminating correct and relevant information on child labor and its related terms.
Some of the definitions, culled from Republic Act Nos. 9231 and 7610 and ILO Convention 182 or the Worst Forms of Child Labor Conventions, are as follows:
“Children”, applies “to all persons under eighteen years of age”, as provided under R.A. 9231. This is a modified definition of children under the Child Protection Law or R.A. 7610, which defines children to mean “persons below eighteen (18) years of age or those over but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition.”
“Child labor” refers to any work or economic activity performed by a child that subjects him/her to any form of exploitation or is harmful to his/her health and safety or physical, mental or psychosocial development.
According to the ILO, the term “child labor” is work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.
In its most extreme forms, child labor involves children being enslaved; separated from their families; exposed to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the streets of large cities–often at a very early age.
“Worst forms of child labor” as enumerated in Sec. 3 of R.A. 9231 have four broad categories: (1) all forms of slavery, as defined under the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003″, or practices similar to slavery, such as sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labor, including recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; (2) use, procuring, offering or exposing of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography, or for pornographic performances; (3) use, procuring, or offering of a child for illegal or illicit activities, including the production and trafficking of dangerous drugs and volatile substances prohibited under existing laws; and (4) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is hazardous or likely to be harmful to the health, safety or morals of children.
“Hazardous work” is work that debases, degrades, or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being; exposes the child to physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or is found to be highly stressful psychologically or may prejudice morals; is performed underground, underwater or at dangerous heights; and involves the use of dangerous machinery, equipment, and tools such as power-driven or explosive power-actuated tools; exposes the child to physical danger such as, but not limited to the dangerous feats of balancing, physical strength or contortion, or which requires the manual transport of heavy loads.
It is also work performed under particularly difficult conditions; exposes the child to biological agents such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, nematodes and other parasites; or involves the manufacture or handling of explosives and other pyrotechnic products.
“Child work” is work allowed or permitted to be performed by a child under certain conditions. A child below 15 years old can be permitted to work if he/she is under supervision by family senior/ parents provided that the child works directly under the sole responsibility of his/her parents or legal guardian and where only members of his/her family are employed; the child’s employment does not endangers his/her life, safety, health, and morals, or impairs his/her normal development; the parent or legal guardian shall provide the said child with the prescribed primary and/or secondary education; the employer first secures a work permit for the child from the DOLE.
Children aged 15 to below 18 years of age are permitted to work in any economic activity not considered child labor, but not more than eight (8) hours a day and in no case beyond forty (40) hours a week. They shall not be allowed to work between 10:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. of the following day, and employer should provide the child with access to at least elementary and secondary education.
“Working children” are children allowed to work, but not in child labor or in hazardous economic activity.
“Incidence of working children” is the proportion of working children to the total children population. It is also called economic activity rate.
“Incidence of child labor” or child labor rate is referred to as the proportion of children in child labor to the total children population.
“Hazardous child labor rate” is the proportion of children in hazardous child labor to the total children population.
Tags: child labour
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