Philippines to tackle child labor problem with international community

Published by rudy Date posted on April 8, 2011

MANILA, April 6 (Xinhua) — The Philippines has partnered with the international community to address the growing need for under- aged laborers in child labor intensive “industries,” the government said Wednesday.

In a press briefing at the Malacanang presidential palace, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Departments of Labor and Employment and Social Welfare and Development have teamed up with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to ensure the rights of children.

“We are cognizant of the solution and we understand from the Department of Labor and Employment, who are now working with the ILO, that they are addressing the situation to (confirm) the number of underage children who are working,” said Valte, adding the determination of how many children are working in what industry will allow the authorities to “propose alternatives” to keep them from being exploited.

The government is working with the ILO through a U.S.- government funded program called the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) that provides the vision of a child labor-free Philippines by building on past gains and addressing continuing challenges.

The ILO-IPEC aims to improve the knowledge system on child labor while strengthening partnership with local partners and promoting sustainability of the program.

The Philippine government has expressed its commitment to fight child labor through the goal of the Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL), which aims to reduce the worst form of child labor by 75 percent by 2015. The ILO, through IPEC, supports the national efforts in achieving the PPACL goal.

In its 2001 Survey on Children, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said that there are about 4.18 million working children aged five to seven years of age, which is 16.2 percent of the total population of children within the same age group.

The survey noted that 60 percent or 2.4 million of the children are exposed to hazardous working conditions.

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