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2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
In 2012, the Philippines made a significant advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Government ratified ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Workers and passed both the Domestic Workers Act and the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. In addition, the Government launched the national Child Labor-Free Philippines campaign and the Child Labor-Free Barangays (Villages) program, and developed a new national Convergence Plan to reduce hazardous child labor. The Conditional Cash Transfer program was expanded to include child laborers and redesigned to include conditionality on child labor. However, there continues to be a lack of enforcement of child labor laws. In addition, a gap between the minimum age for work and the age of compulsory education continues to leave children ages 12 through 14 particularly vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. Children continue to be engaged in the worst forms of child labor, particularly in hazardous activities in agriculture and in domestic service.
Prevalence and Sectoral Distribution of the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Children in the Philippines are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including hazardous activities in agriculture and in domestic service.(3-7) Children work primarily in the production of sugarcane, as well as in coconuts, corn, rice, rubber, tobacco, bananas, and hogs. Limited evidence suggests that children also work in the production of other fruits and vegetables.(3, 4, 8) Many children in these types of agriculture work long hours in extreme weather, use dangerous machinery and tools, carry heavy loads, and apply harmful pesticides.(4, 9)
In 2012, the Government released and widely publicized the preliminary results of the national Survey on Children, which included findings on child labor. The Survey was conducted by the National Statistics Office with support from the ILO in 2011. Preliminary results indicate that 3.21 million children are engaged in child labor, of which 2.99 million work in hazardous labor.(10) The complete report is scheduled to be released in 2013.
Children are commonly employed as domestic servants or kasambahays.(3, 4, 11-13) Many child domestics work long hours, and their isolation in homes makes them susceptible to sexual harassment and verbal and physical abuse.(4, 9, 11, 12, 14) Child domestic servants are often denied access to education.(6, 12-14) Domestic workers are sometimes subjected to nonpayment or garnishment of wages or conditions of forced labor.(9, 11, 13-15)
Children are also involved in mining and quarrying, including compressor mining to extract gold, which requires them to dive into pools of mud with an oxygen tube.(3-5, 7, 9) Mining requires children to carry heavy loads and use dangerous tools and machinery; and gold mining exposes children to mercury, acid, and cyanide.(4, 9)
Deep-sea fishing is another dangerous occupation in which children work.(3, 4, 7, 16, 17) These children may work long hours, perform physically demanding tasks, and face dangers such as drowning or entanglement in fishing nets.(4, 16-18)
Children manufacture pyrotechnics, a hazardous activity that exposes them to explosives and flammable substances.(3, 4, 19, 20) In addition, boys and girls work in factory and home-based manufacturing industries such as the production of fashion accessories, which may involve hazardous activities.(3, 4, 7, 20-22)
The commercial sexual exploitation of children including in pornography and sex tourism is a significant problem.(4, 5, 15, 20, 23, 24) In addition, children, primarily girls, are trafficked domestically from rural to urban areas for forced domestic service and commercial sexual exploitation.(12, 15, 20) Emerging reports indicate that boys are increasingly trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, particularly for child pornography.(15) Limited evidence suggests that children are also trafficked from the Philippines internationally throughout Asia and the Middle East for forced labor.(15, 23)
Although evidence is limited, children are also known to be involved in other illicit activities such as the trafficking of drugs.(5, 21)
There are no reports of children in the government armed forces in the Philippines, but child soldiering is a problem among anti-government and terrorist organizations.(12, 15, 20, 25-27) The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the New People’s Army have indicated willingness to stop the recruitment and use of children as soldiers; however, reports indicate that children continue to be found in their ranks.(5, 12, 15, 20, 23, 25-30) Children have also been reported in the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement.(20, 27) The Abu Sayyaf Group, a terrorist organization, continues to recruit and use children.(15, 20, 23, 25-29)
Despite a policy of free education, many children do not attend school, as the costs of books, uniforms, meals, and transportation are prohibitive for many families.(3-5, 31, 32) In addition, distant school locations are often not accessible for rural students, especially at the secondary school level.(31, 33)
There are reports of children working on the streets, but specific information on hazards is unknown. (3, 4, 7, 21) Children also work as scavengers in dumpsites, where they sort garbage and risk exposure to sharp objects, toxic substances, fumes, and bacteria.(3, 4, 9, 20)
Laws and Regulations on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The Labor Code sets the minimum age for work at 15 and the minimum age for hazardous work at 18.(22)
The Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child, Republic Act No. 9231, mandates that the Government protect and remove children from the worst forms of child labor, including forced labor, child trafficking, prostitution, pornography, and the use of a child for illicit activities.(34) It defines and prohibits the worst forms of child labor; bars children from using dangerous machinery or tools, transporting heavy loads, working underground or underwater, handling explosives or being exposed to unsafe substances; and prescribes stringent penalties for violations.(34)
In 2012, the House and Senate approved the revised domestic workers bill, Republic Act No. 10361, and An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers was signed into law in January 2013.(5, 35) The Act, also referred to as the Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay, prohibits the employment of children below age 15 and requires that children ages 15 to 18 receive minimum wage and all benefits and protections afforded in the Act.(35) The Act also stipulates that employers allow domestic workers the opportunity to complete their basic education.(35)
In September 2012, the Government ratified ILO Convention 189, Decent Work for Domestic Workers, which requires signatory states to take specific measures to prohibit child domestic labor.(36) Specifically, ILO Convention 189 requires states to ensure that domestic workers above the legal working age are not deprived of educational opportunities and to establish a minimum age for domestic labor that is consistent with the ILO Conventions 138 and 182.(37) The Philippines ratification was only the second by an ILO member state, and served to enter the Convention into force.(36)
In 2012, Congress passed the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012, which was signed into law in February 2013 as Republic Act No. 10364.(38) This Act amends Republic Act No. 9208 of 2003 to establish a permanent Interagency Council Against Trafficking with a staffed Secretariat to carry out the mandate; creates a database on trafficking cases; expands provisions to protect victims of trafficking; and establishes stronger penalties for violations, including those against children.(5, 38) The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, Republic Act No. 9208, prohibits trafficking in persons, including the recruitment, transfer, or harboring of children for prostitution, pornography, or forced labor.(39, 40)
The Anti-Child Pornography Act, Republic Act No. 9775, protects children against exploitation in pornography and establishes strict penalties for persons responsible for the production, distribution, and publication of child pornography.(41) In 2012, the Cybercrime Prevention Act was signed into law. The Act increases the punishment for crimes of child pornography using a computer.(20) The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, Republic Act No. 9165, prohibits the use of children in the production and trafficking of drugs.(42)
Military recruitment is voluntary at age 17 for training and at age 18 for service.(26, 43) The recruitment, transport, or use of children under age 18 in armed conflict, including as guards, couriers or spies, is prohibited in the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, Republic Act No. 7610; the Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor Act; and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.(26, 34, 39, 44)
The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2012 was approved by both houses of Congress between November 2012 and February 2013 and was signed into law by the President in May 2013.(45) The Act extends formal education from 10 to 12 years; however the Act failed to make secondary school compulsory.(46, 47) The Kindergarten Education Act, Republic Act No. 10157, passed in 2012, extends free and compulsory education to children for one additional year, starting at age 5.(5) Primary and secondary education is free for all children; however, school attendance is compulsory only at the primary level, from ages 5 to 11.(19, 20, 32, 48, 49) Children ages 12 to 14 are particularly vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor, as they are not required to be in school and are not legally permitted to work.
Institutional Mechanisms for Coordination and Enforcement
The National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), headed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and comprising more than 15 other agencies and NGOs, coordinates national efforts to combat child labor.(19) New member agencies include the Department of Agriculture and the National Youth Commission.(5, 50) The NCLC is intended to promote information sharing at the national level; this coordinating mechanism has been replicated at the regional and provincial levels. In 2012, the NCLC conducted workshops to prioritize action plans for each member agency and held trainings on the Child Labor Knowledge Sharing System, the National Survey on Children, the Domestic Workers Act, and the modified Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program conditional cash transfer program.(5)
DOLE is the primary government agency responsible for enforcing child labor laws.(19) In 2012, DOLE employed 224 labor inspectors nationwide, 30 fewer labor inspectors than in 2011, to enforce the Labor Code, including child labor laws.(5) DOLE regularly trains inspectors and regional personnel on child labor laws.(19) In 2012, DOLE conducted trainings for labor inspectors and issued a Manual of Procedures in Handling Complaints on Trafficking in Persons, Illegal Recruitment and Child Labor.(5) DOLE did not disclose the labor inspection budget for 2012.(5)
In 2012, DOLE inspected 25,348 of an estimated total of 800,000 establishments nationwide, a decrease from the 30,727 inspected in 2011.(5) The DOLE inspection strategy focuses on compliance with core labor standards in businesses with 10 to 199 employees, and in specific sectors such as security firms, restaurants, manufacturing enterprises, and cooperatives.(19, 51, 52) However, it is not known whether this targeting is focused in sectors and establishments with high rates of child labor. Through the 25,348 workplace inspections conducted in 2012, DOLE identified only 56 children exploited through violations of child labor legislation.(5) Of these, 27 were victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, and DOLE issued closure orders on four restaurant and karaoke bar establishments found to be employing the victims.(5, 15)
DOLE also leads a regional mechanism for rescuing children who work in abusive and dangerous situations through the Rescue the Child Laborers (SBM) Quick Action Teams.(19) SBM is composed of government agencies and law enforcement, local governments, the business community, unions, and NGOs.(19) SBM responds to reports of possible instances of child labor in the formal and nonformal sectors, and coordinates a response among the relevant agencies for each case, referring children to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for rehabilitation and reintegration.(5, 19) In 2012, SBM rescued 223 child laborers across nine regions.(5, 15)
DSWD regional offices also coordinate Special Action Units to conduct rescue operations for child laborers, with social workers to manage the ongoing cases of victims.(19) In 2012, DSWD Special Action Units assisted 406 victims of child labor or trafficking of children.(5)
The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) reported that no child labor cases were referred to them for investigation or prosecution by DOLE or DSWD during the year; however, victims may have filed cases directly.(53) The Government of the Philippines did not resolve any pending child labor cases, nor were there any new child labor convictions in 2012.
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) coordinates, monitors, and oversees ongoing implementation of efforts to combat child trafficking. IACAT is chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and co-chaired by DSWD; it comprises relevant government agencies and NGOs.(5, 15) The Government of the Philippines provided IACAT with a budget of $1.2 million in 2012.(5, 19) In 2012, 19 cases involving minors were identified through calls to the IACAT national trafficking hotline.(5)
The National Anti-Trafficking Task Force, through the IACAT and DOJ, serves as a mechanism for collaboration between the police and prosecutors, as well as social service providers, to develop strong cases against traffickers. In addition, local and regional Anti-Trafficking Task Forces, composed of officials from the DOJ, DSWD, PNP, NBI, seaport and airport police, and NGOs, serve as interagency teams to respond to cases of trafficking.(15) IACAT and DOJ provide funding and personnel to each local Task Force. In 2012, the number of local Task Forces increased from 6 to 14.(15) The DOJ/IACAT Anti-Trafficking Task Force was staffed with 19 prosecutors in 2012, an increase from 17 in 2011. Nationally, DOJ increased the number of trafficking in persons prosecutors from 58 in 2011 to 96 in 2012.(15) The DOJ is responsible for the prosecution of child trafficking cases.(19)
The PNP and the NBI are the principal law enforcement agencies for child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.(15, 19) The NBI operates a national Trafficking in Persons Task Force (TIP Task Force) as well as a Task Force on the Protection of Children from Exploitation and Abuse.(15) The PNP’s Women and Children’s Protection Center (WCPC) leads the enforcement of child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) laws and employs 3,038 personnel nationwide.(15, 19) In 2012, WCPC conducted 37 training sessions on trafficking, including child labor legislation, for 1,737 officials.(5) WCPC also maintained a 24-hour hotline to report trafficking cases.(19) During the reporting period, the Government of the Philippines conducted 194 trainings for 2,646 government personnel to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases.(5)
In 2012, PNP investigated 89 cases of child trafficking involving 126 children; 78 of these cases involved sexual exploitation and 48 involved child labor.(5) Between April and December 2012, NBI investigated 193 new trafficking cases, prosecuted 66 cases, and closed 125 cases; however, NBI does not disaggregate data by age group, so it is not known how many of the investigated cases involved minors.(15, 19, 24) Convictions were obtained in cases involving 21 minors.(15) In addition, some of the cases investigated were likely initiated in prior years, and it is unclear whether any of the same cases were counted by both agencies.(15) During the year, the Government of the Philippines attained convictions in 12 cases of sex trafficking; these cases involved both adult and child trafficking victims. The 16 convicted traffickers received sentences in accordance with the law.(5) IACAT estimates that the average length of trafficking cases is 5 years, despite the 6-month limit imposed by the Supreme Court.(15)
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is the lead agency responsible for the enforcement of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, Republic Act No. 9165. PDEA maintains a national hotline for reporting cases of children used in illicit activities.(5) In 2012, PDEA conducted training on handling children arrested for illegal drug activities for 35 drug enforcement officers who will serve as first responders for cases involving children.(5) In 2012, 121 minors were arrested who worked as pushers, couriers, messengers, and cultivators of illegal drugs, however no minors were convicted of those crimes during the year.(5)
The interagency Council for the Welfare of Children, through its Subcommittee on Children Affected by Armed Conflict and Displacement, operates a monitoring and response system for situations of children engaged in armed conflict, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers.(15)
Government Policies on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The goal of reducing exploitive child labor is included in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (2011-2016). The Plan specifies government commitments to strengthen mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of child protection laws, to develop strategies to respond to child trafficking and pornography, and to implement an enhanced program for preventing children from being engaged in armed conflict.(5)
The goal of reducing exploitive child labor is mainstreamed into the Labor and Employment Plan (2011-2016).(5) Child labor is also included in the following national development agendas: Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), Education for All National Plan (2004-2015), Basic Education Reform Agenda, and UN Development Assistance Framework (2012-2018).(19, 49, 54-56)
In addition, the Government of the Philippines has primary policy instruments to prevent and eliminate child labor. The Philippines National Strategic Framework for Plan Development for Children, 2000-2025, also known as “Child 21,” sets out broad goals to achieve improved quality of life for Filipino children by 2025.(19, 57)
The tripartite Philippine Program Against Child Labor (PPACL) Strategic Framework lays out the blueprint for reducing the incidence of child labor by 75 percent.(19, 58, 59) To achieve this goal, PPACL identifies five strategic approaches to prevent, protect, and reintegrate children from the worst forms of child labor.(58, 60) To translate this strategic framework into action, the Implementation Plan (2011-2012) identifies concrete objectives such as improving the access of children and their families to appropriate services to further prevent incidence of child labor and the reintegration of former child laborers.(19, 61) In 2012, the PPACL was extended through 2016, and Secretaries of NCLC member agencies signed an agreement to strategically scale up its implementation.(5, 50)
In 2012, the President tasked the Human Development Cabinet cluster, led by DOLE and DSWD, to develop a Convergence Action Plan, called HELP ME, to reduce the worst forms of child labor by 2016 under the PPACL.(59, 62) The directive included a funding allocation of $220,000,000 over 4 years for implementation, from 2013 to 2016.(62, 63) The Convergence Action Plan is designed to remove 893,000 children from hazardous child labor across 15,568 target barangays.(62) The HELP ME plan focuses on outcomes that include a multilevel information system, more accessible education and livelihood services, child labor agendas mainstreamed in policy development at all levels, a compilation of policies and laws, and strengthening of enforcement (including prosecution of child labor offenders).(50, 62, 63) HELP ME was launched in January 2013.(62)
In June 2012, the NCLC launched the Batang Malaya Child Labor-Free Philippines campaign.(64) Campaign objectives include the institutionalization of the Survey on Children to be regularly implemented by the Government; mainstreaming child labor into local development plans; adding child labor elimination as a conditionality in conditional cash transfer programs; strengthening the labor inspectorate to monitor child labor; improving enforcement of Republic Act No. 9231; and strengthening the NCLC through a legal mandate, budget, and dedicated secretariat.(64)
A revised National Strategic Action Plan Against Trafficking in Persons (2012-2016) was launched in December 2012 and contains specific provisions on the prevention of trafficking of children, including awareness raising and local programs to prevent children from being lured by traffickers.(5)
The Department of Education implemented a new program in 2012 that extends the education system from 10 to 12 years, ahead of the approval of the draft Enhanced Basic Education Act, which would formally legislate the extended education.(5, 20)
Social Programs to Eliminate or Prevent the Worst Forms of Child Labor
The Government of the Philippines implements programs to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable families and children and to reduce child labor. Through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, DSWD provides cash transfers to households, conditional upon their children’s achievement of a monthly school attendance rate of at least 85 percent and regular medical checkups and immunizations.(19, 65) In 2012, the budget was increased to $960,000, from $570,000 in 2011, benefiting 3.1 million households and 7.4 million children through age 14.(5, 53) A 2010 assessment of the Program demonstrated an increase in school enrollment and attendance among beneficiaries; however, results also showed that child labor persisted among beneficiaries.(19) In January 2013, DOLE announced that the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program would be expanded and modified through the Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Families in Need of Special Protection to specifically target households of child laborers.(63, 66) This initiative was in response to the new Convergence Action Plan under the PPACL. Child eligibility was expanded from age 14 to age 17. The additional conditionality prohibiting hazardous child labor was added to the program requirements as a mechanism to reduce the worst forms of child labor.(63, 67) The 2013 budget will be further increased to $1.08 million.(53)
The Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program offers nonformal education to out-of-school children, including child laborers, and offers them opportunities to attain a certificate of education equivalency.(17) However, with limited resources, representing less than 1 percent of the Department of Education’s budget, and only one teacher for every 24 communities, ALS is unable to reach many out-of-school youth.(31, 55) While 77 percent of ALS students complete the coursework, of those students who take the Accreditation and Equivalency Exam, only 22 percent pass at the elementary level and 26 percent pass at the secondary level.(31) However, for many child laborers, this program may serve as one of the few available options to earn an equivalency certificate, which is required to gain access to formal institutions, such as those that provide higher education, vocational training, or workforce development. no assessment of the impact of this program on reducing child labor has been identified.
DOLE, with the National Tripartite Council in the Sugar Industry, implements the sugar industry Social Amelioration Program (SAP), which provides a cash bonus to sugar workers and funds social protection, livelihood, and education programs for sugar workers and their families through a levy imposed on refined sugar.(68, 69) In 2011, more than 26,000 adult sugar workers received support for livelihood projects.(55) Data were not available for 2012. no assessment of the impact of this program on reducing child labor has been identified. As part of the SAP, DOLE’s Integrated Services for Migratory Sugar Workers Program (I-SERVE SACADAS) seeks to improve the livelihoods of migrant sugar workers and their families and increase their income.(19, 69) In 2012, I-SERVE SACADAS provided assistance valued at $7,500 to 233 children engaged in or vulnerable to child labor in the sugar industry. Services included educational materials and scholarships.(53, 55)
Under the PPACL, the Government of the Philippines is implementing a number of programs designed specifically to reduce child labor, including the DOLE Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP). In 2012, DOLE launched a new Child Labor-Free Barangays campaign to transform 89 targeted villages nationwide into child labor-free communities through Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children.(5, 70) At the community level, the program implements local awareness-raising campaigns, institutes child labor monitoring mechanisms, and requires barangays to develop child labor elimination plans with short- and long-term objectives.(71) The Program encourages convergence of services from different Government agencies, including education services to child laborers and livelihood assistance to their households.(50) During the year, the Program was piloted in 6 villages, and it will be expanded to an additional 10 villages in 2013.(5) DOLE reports that between July and December 2012, 4,863 children and 1,849 households benefited from program services.(72) Most of the child beneficiaries were reportedly engaged in hazardous work, such as scavenging, deep-sea fishing, farming, mining, domestic work, hauling logs, loading ships, and production of fireworks.(72) During the year, DOLE regional offices reactivated and provided support to 171 Barangay Child Protection Committees.(72)
DOLE regional offices allocated at least 5 percent of their Workers Income Augmentation Program (WINAP) funds, approximately $295,000 in total, for implementation of CLPEP activities.(19, 53, 55, 73) WINAP improves the livelihoods of workers through training and material support for income-generation activities.(74)
DOLE’s Livelihood for Parents of Child Laborers (KASAMA) program provides funds to parents of working children for projects such as raising livestock, producing souvenirs, food vending, and other service professions.(53, 55, 71) The KASAMA program is one mechanism under the DOLE’s Campaign for Child Labor-Free Barangays.(71) In 2012, the KASAMA program provided livelihood support to 270 parents of child laborers, with a budget of $56,000.(53) Another initiative, Project Angel Tree, redistributed shoes, school bags, toys, and other supplies donated by private sponsors to 6,271 children at risk of, or engaged in, child labor.(19, 53, 55)
DSWD implements the new comprehensive Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP) with an allocated budget of $615,000 to provide services to victims of trafficking and to raise awareness in vulnerable communities. In 2012, 285 child trafficking victims received services through RRPTP.(15) In 2012, DSWD established a new shelter near Manila for male victims of trafficking, a critical improvement, as most centers provide services only to women and girls.(15) DSWD provided services to victims of exploitive child labor and CSEC, including crisis intervention and residential facilities.(19, 23) Supplementing wider efforts to raise awareness on trafficking, IACAT funded school-based and community-based awareness campaigns that target children.(15) Although the Government has implemented programs addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of children, particularly those in situations of prostitution, research found no evidence that it has carried out programs to identify and assist children exploited for pornography.
DSWD also provided Special Social Services for Children in Armed Conflict to protect and rehabilitate children after their direct or indirect involvement in armed conflict.(75) In 2012, the budget was $60,000, and 59 children received services, including 40 who were used as couriers, medics, spies, or combatants and 19 who were affected by armed conflict through cross-fire or displacement.(53) Services include emergency evacuation and rescue; family reunification; provision of food, clothing, and shelter; and psychosocial rehabilitation.(53) However, reports indicate that children continued to be recruited into armed conflict, and the reach of this program does not appear to be sufficient to prevent children’s recruitment into anti-government and terrorist organizations.
During the year, the Government of the Philippines participated in programs to reduce child labor; these programs were funded by international donors and implemented through international organizations or NGOs. USDOL funded a $4.75 million project, implemented by ILO-IPEC from 2009 to 2013. This project aims to withdraw and prevent 9,350 children from the worst forms of child labor through the provision of educational and noneducational services in Quezon, Masbate, Northern Samar, and Bukidnon.(76, 77) As of October 2012, a total of 6,533 children had been withdrawn or prevented from participating in hazardous child labor.(59) The project targets children engaged in farming, mining, fishing, and domestic service. The project developed an Internet-based information system that promotes communication on child labor issues among government and nongovernmental agencies, improved program monitoring, and automated child labor case referrals. With the NCLC, the project is assessing project models and documenting best practices to be replicated.(59)
USDOL funded a $15 million project in 2011 to reduce child labor in sugar-producing areas in 11 provinces of the Philippines, and this project will be implemented through 2015.(78) It will provide education services to 52,000 children engaged in, or at risk of engaging in, the worst forms of child labor; it will also provide livelihood assistance to 25,000 households of targeted children. The project engages the sugar industry in raising awareness of child labor among sugar workers and their families.(78) During the first year, the project provided educational services to 10,592 children working in sugarcane.(50)
In 2012, the Philippines participated in the USDOL-funded, 4-year Global Action Program on Child Labor Issues project, which is active in approximately 40 countries. In the Philippines, the project aims to build the capacity of the national government and develop strategic policies to address the elimination of child labor and forced labor; improve the evidence base on child labor and forced labor through data collection and research; and strengthen legal protections and social service delivery for child domestic workers.(79) The project is conducting an analysis of legislation regarding worst forms of child labor, focusing specifically on child domestic labor. It is also strengthening child labor legislation enforcement mechanisms, with a focus on child domestic labor.(80) During the reporting period, the project made preparations for a national rapid situational analysis of child domestic workers as well as a gap assessment of social services for child domestic workers.(81)
The Government of the Philippines participated in a program, with $29,550 funded by the Eliminating Child Labor in Tobacco Growing Foundation, which provided educational services to 94 children and livelihood assistance to 100 parents during the year.(82) Through DOLE, the project also conducted awareness raising through activities for youth, teachers, and school administrators, as well as through comic strips and other advocacy materials.(82)
The Government, at the national and regional levels, also coordinates with the Kasambahay Program to provide immediate services to trafficking victims and child domestic workers including shelter, psychological support, and reintegration. Information on the activities, beneficiaries, and funding level in 2012 was not available.(12)
Given the scope and magnitude of child labor in the Philippines, the limited reach of these programs is not sufficient to significantly reduce child labor, especially in the agriculture and domestic service sectors.
Based on the reporting above, the following actions would advance the elimination of the worst forms of child labor in the Philippines:
Year(s) Action Recommended
Laws and Regulations
Increase the age of compulsory schooling from 11 to 15, the minimum age for work.
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Coordination and Enforcement
Ensure that child labor legislation is effectively enforced by identifying, through inspections, children who are engaged in the worst forms of child labor.
2009, 2010, 2012
Ensure that identified instances of criminal child labor violations are systematically referred to law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution.
Prioritize child labor and trafficking cases to provide timely prosecutions and convictions and to ensure that convictions serve as a deterrent to further violations.
Disaggregate trafficking data reported by NBI by age group and ensure that trafficking data are not reported in duplicate by both NBI and PNP.
2010, 2011, 2012
Take steps to ensure that all children have access to nearby schools and do not face prohibitive costs for education-related expenses.
2010, 2011, 2012
Provide necessary resources for more out-of-school youth to access ALS to complete their basic education.
Assess the impact that social programs may have on child labor.
Expand programs combating child labor, especially targeting children exploited for pornography and working in hazardous activities including agriculture, fishing, mining, and domestic service, or engaged in armed conflict.
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary. Total; February 4, 2013; http://www.uis.unesco.org/Pages/default.aspx?SPSLanguage=EN. Data provided is the gross intake ratio to the last grade of primary school. This measure is a proxy measure for primary completion. For more information, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.
2. UCW. Analysis of Child Economic Activity and School Attendance Statistics from National Household or Child Labor Surveys. February 5, 2013. Reliable statistical data on the worst forms of child labor are especially difficult to collect given the often hidden or illegal nature of the worst forms. As a result, statistics on children’s work in general are reported in this chart, which may or may not include the worst forms of child labor. For more information on sources used, the definition of working children and other indicators used in this report, please see the “Children's Work and Education Statistics: Sources and Definitions” section of this report.
3. ILO-IPEC. Baseline Survey for the ILO-IPEC TBP Phase 2, Draft Report. Draft Report. Manila; 2011.
4. World Vision Development Foundation. ABK2 Initiative Baseline Report; 2008.
5. U.S. Embassy- Manila. reporting, February 1, 2013.
6. Government of the Philippines- Department of Labor and Employment- Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics. Profile of Working Children in the Philippines. Labstat Updates Vol. 15 No. 5; March 2011. http://www.bles.dole.gov.ph/ARCHIVES/LABSTAT%20UPDATES/labstat_view.asp.
7. ILO, Philippine National Statistics Office. 2011 Survey on Children. Manila; June 26, 2012. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---asia/---ro-bangkok/---ilo-manila/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_184097.pdf.
8. ECLT Foundation. Agriculture and Tobacco, [online] 2010 [cited February 14, 2013]; http://www.eclt.org/about-child-labour/agriculture-and-tobacco.
9. World Vision Development Foundation. ABK2 Initiative Job Hazard Analysis in Worst Forms of Child Labor; 2009.
10. Government of the Philippines- National Statistics Office. The Number of Working Children 5 to 17 Years Old is Estimated at 5.5 Million (Preliminary Results of the 2011 Survey on Children), [online] July 18, 2012 [cited February 14, 2013]; http://www.census.gov.ph/content/number-working-children-5-17-years-old-estimated-55-million-preliminary-results-2011-survey.
11. Philippine Commission on Women. Kasambahay (Household Workers) Bill Situationer, [online] March 18, 2009 [cited http://pcw.gov.ph/index.php/legislative-advocacy/55-advocacy-kasambahay/82-advocacy-kasambahay-situationer [source on file].
12. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Philippines (ratification: 2000) Published: 2010; February 14, 2013; http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/iloquery.htm.
13. ILO Committee of Experts. Individual Observation concerning Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) Philippines (ratification: 2000) Published: 2012; February 14, 2013; http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID:2700613:YES.
14. Anti-Slavery International. Background: Forced Labour and Exploitation of Domestic Workers in the Philippines, [online] [cited February 14, 2013]; http://www.antislavery.org/english/campaigns/take_action/background_to_forced_labour_and_exploitation_of_domestic_workers_in_the_philippines.aspx.
15. U.S. Embassy- Manila. reporting, February 15, 2013.
16. FAO, ILO. Good Practice Guide for Addressing Child Labor in Fisheries and Aquaculture: Policy and Practice, Preliminary Version; 2011. ftp://ftp.fao.org/FI/DOCUMENT/child_labour_FAO-ILO/child_labour_FAO-ILO.pdf.
17. U.S. Embassy- Manila. reporting, January 28, 2011.
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