Jason (not his real name), wishes he has more time to play. However, unlike children of his age, he struggles to balance schooling and work to help provide the needs of his family. At the age of 12, he works for a charcoal manufacturer where he spends five hours per day, four times a week after attending school. He started working when he was 6 years old.
Jason related his story before the attendees of the Philippine World Day against Child Labour 2011 last 14 June at the Occupational Safety and Health Center, Diliman, Quezon City.
With the global theme: “Warning! Children in hazardous work--End child labour” and local theme “Mapanganib na Paggawa, Bawal sa Bata!” representatives from schools, government agencies, non-government organizations and employers and workers groups gathered at the local celebration of World Day against Child Labour (WADCL). The event was organized by the National Child Labor Committee.
“We know that when parents have access to decent and productive work themselves - which allow them to support themselves and their loved ones then their children have the opportunity to seek an education, which is the path to a better life,” said Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), through its Country Level Engagement and Assistance to Reduce Child Labour (CLEAR), aims to withdraw children from the worst forms of child labour while saving child labourers like Jason through various direct services.
Ms Dulce Festin-Baybay, Chairperson of the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines’ Child-friendly Committee, said ECOP supports the national effort to eliminate cases of child labour since it has adverse effects in the economy. She said the group is encouraging companies to promote a child-friendly atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary Teresa Soriano of the Department of Labor and Employment affirmed the stand of the government in supporting efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in the country. She also called on the different stakeholders to stand against child labour.
Activities included declaration of commitment and support of the stakeholders, brief orientation on the Child Labor Knowledge Management Sharing System (CLKSS),forum on hazardous work, film showing and workshops for the children-participants. A live web cast of the event was also shown in the CLKSS website.
WDACL was launched in 2002 by the ILO to increase awareness on the issue of child labour.
For further information please contact:
Mr Cesar Giovanni Soledad
ILO-IPEC Towards a Child Labour Free Philippines
Tel. +63 2 580 9946 or 580 9900