DOLE frees 250k child laborers, sends them back to school

Published by rudy Date posted on July 30, 2020

By Samuel P. Medenilla, BusinessMirror, 30 Jul 2020

The government is now over 30 percent complete in its target to remove 650,000 child laborers from hazardous work by 2022, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In an online interview in PTV on Wednesday, Labor officer-in-charge undersecretary Joji V. Aragon said the National Council Against Child Labor (NCACL), which is led by DOLE, was able to help at least 250,000 child laborers.

This was confirmed Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla, who said that from 2018 to 2019, DOLE was able to profile 275,614 child laborers.

“Of these children, 202,236 have been referred for the provision of necessary services such as livelihood for the parents, educational assistance, medical, legal and other assistance,” Trayvilla told BusinessMirror in a SMS.

Aragon said the profiling is the first step of the government to help child laborers since it allows them to determine what aid to provide them and their families.

She said their initial intervention would be to send back the child to school then provide livelihood to their parents or guardians.

“Once they get a livelihood, they will no longer send back the youth to work,” Aragon explained.

Aragon admitted their profiling operations for child laborers this year was interrupted because of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. A total of 175,000 child laborers were supposed to be profiled for 2020.

However, the profiling is not expected to resume until next year.

With the suspension of the profiling, she said DOLE is now focused in referring the already profiled child laborers to appropriated government agencies for assistance.

Despite the setback, Aragon said they are still confident of achieving their 650,000 target in the next two years.

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