Save the Children

Editorial Mindinao Times

Written by: Times Editors , Times Editors

The plan of the regional office to investigate child labor in mining areas is long overdue.
On Tuesday, Regional Director Joffrey Suyao said his agency will look into reports that children were being employed in small scale mining areas. Suyao, who faced the media in the region for the first time after being named to the position, said he has heard from reports that children were among those who were killed in the Good Friday landslide in a small scale mining site in Kingking, Pantukan, Compostela Valley that claimed scores of lives.

The employment of children in small scale mining areas is a fact. One just has to visit any of the small scale mining sites in the country, not just the region, and find for himself or herself that children who can barely carry a 20-kilo sack are made to carry such a load to a length that even a grownup will find difficult.

The sad fact is that in some cases, it is the parents who pushed their children to work in very difficult situations. These children may want to protest, but the waiting belts have pushed them to continue working.

The harsh condition, the danger and the deprivation of basic needs are just one aspect that these children are facing while working in these mining sites. The fact that all facets of their growth are compromised is what must be given more attention.

So it is high time not only for the government, but also for their parents to find ways on how to take them away from these areas.

May we, therefore, call on Regional Director Suyao to make good his statement, something that his predecessors have failed to look into? It is high time that these children are sent to schools rather than exposed to danger.

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