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.


Pinay gets World’s Children’s Honorary Award

MANILA, Philippines – For her “tireless struggle” against child labor and trafficking, Filipina Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is one of the 2 recipients of the World’s Children’s Honorary Award.

The award was given by the World’s Children’s Prize, an educational program involving 24.5 million pupils in 102 countries. Flores-Oebanda started working at age 5, and has since committed herself to fighting for the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable children.

She founded the Visayan Forum, an organization that has rescued tens of thousands of girls from slave labor and trafficking.

The other recipient of the World’s Children’s Honorary Award is Monira Rahman of Bangladesh. Her organization, ASF, helped reduce the number of acid attacks in her country by saving hundreds of child victims of acid and petrol dousing.

She has also sent some victims abroad for extensive plastic surgery.

This year’s recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child is Murhabazi Namagabe from D.R. Congo for his “dangerous struggle to free children forced to be child soldiers or sex slaves.”

Namagabe visits armed groups to inform them about children’s rights, and offers protection to freed child soldiers.

Candidates are chosen by a child jury, with support from teachers and organizations across the globe. Among the patrons of the World’s Children’s Prize are Nelson Mandela, H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and Graca Machel.


Helpline in Delhi to Combat Child Labor

In a bid to tackle child labour and handle complaints from workers, a toll free helpline would soon be launched by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, a state government official said Tuesday.

The helpline number 12789 will be functional between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., added the official.

“It is being commissioned with an aim to provide a sense of confidence and assurance to workers and make it an effective tool for approaching the authorities in case of denial of the minimum wages by the employers and for enforcement of all labour Laws,” said the official.

It will also function as an instrument to eliminate child labour as the affected children could call on this helpline or someone else may call on their behalf helping the labour department to rescue them, added the official.

According to the official, a senior officer will be deployed at the helpline and reports would be sent to the labour secretary every six hours. A review meeting would be chaired by Labour Minister Ramakant Goswami every fortnight.

“The callers will be intimated about the action taken in a shortest possible time that may not extend beyond four days,” added the official.

Goswami said that wider consultation and preparations have been made before commissioning of the helpline which is going to be the first in the country.

“We have chalked out a comprehensive plan to provide help and required consultation to the labourers in hardship. The department is all set to adopt more humanistic approach and has also decided to closely monitor the enforcement of various labour laws,” said Goswami.


Restaurants Beware: The Labor Department is Cracking Down

By RICHARD MULLINS | The Tampa Tribune


The United States Department of Labor is launching a massive sweep of restaurants in Hillsborough County, which officials say is rife with violations of child labor rules and owners who short-change workers.

Department teams have already raided several hundred in recent years, and will probably approach 50 to 60 establishments in this round, according to local officials, after finding “significant child labor violations,” including children forced to work dangerous equipment.

“The restaurant industry employs some of our country’s lowest-paid workers who, especially during hard economic times, are vulnerable to exploitation,” said James Schmidt, the Wage and Hour Division’s district director in Tampa. Read more


More Stringent Child Labor Regulations

from Sunday Observer in Sri Lanka:

The government has begun cracking down on factories which use child labour in dangerous industries such as fire work manufacturing in a move to eradicate the use of children in these industries by 2016, Minister of Labour and Labour Relations Gamini Lokuge told the Sunday Observer.

“Sri Lanka has a good track record of child protection when compared to other South Asian countries so we are taking all necessary actions to avoid any violations” he said.


More Aussies Buying Fair Trade Eggs

From the Queensland Times:


MORE Australians are buying ethically produced Easter eggs this year but child labour is still a huge factor in global chocolate production, aid groups say.

Aid agency Oxfam said its Fairtrade Easter chocolate sales were up 50 per cent this year compared to the pre-Easter period in 2010.

“It’s really heartening to see so many Australians choosing to make a difference through their purchases this Easter,” Oxfam’s director of trading Nadine Silverberg said. Read more


Moin Paid with his Life for Being Slow at Work

Sahim Salim in New Delhi

Sahim Salim investigates the shocking death of 10-year-old Moin Khan, the latest victim of child labour in the country.

When 10-year-old Moin Khan’s parents sent their child to New Delhi with his maternal uncle, the couple from Madhubani in Bihar would have never known the fate that lay before him.

They didn’t know that Moin’s uncle Kalimullah Khan was taking him away to work 14-hour shifts at his makeshift factory in a single-room rented apartment in northwest Delhi. The tortured 10-year-old paid with his life for being slow on April 16.

His maternal uncle beat him to death. The crime would not have come to light had a cremation caretaker, who noticed Kalimullah’s brother trying to cremate the little boy’s body the following morning, not informed the police. Read more


Law Preventing Move Against Child Labor

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Features editor – Sunday

from the Jamaica Observer

A law that gives labour inspectors the authority to survey established work places and not the informal sector is preventing the Ministry of Labour from effectively curbing child labour.

According to director of the ministry’s Child Labour Unit, Marva Ximinnies, of the near 3,000 inspections it conducted in the financial year just ended, it identified no incidents of child labour in Jamaica. Read more


India bans child labour in circuses

AFP [from April 2011]:

NEW DELHI: India’s Supreme Court on Monday banned travelling circuses from employing children and ordered the government to conduct raids on all performing companies to rescue minors.

The court edict followed a petition lodged by a children’s rights group that has lobbied for full implementation of Indian child labour laws, which are regularly flouted by circuses.

Children are often trained to perform high-wire acrobatic acts, juggling stunts and other attractions for audiences in India, where circus companies move from town to town throughout the year.

Read more


Hilton Signs Code of Conduct to Prevent Child Prostitution

After over a year of efforts from ECPAT-USA, anti-trafficking advocates, members, and Hilton staff, Hilton Worldwide has signed the Code of Conduct to prevent sexual exploitation of children in the travel and tourism industry.

Hilton Worldwide is only the second large U.S.-based hotel chain to sign the Code, and represents a huge step towards fighting child sex trafficking in the travel and tourism industry.

Started by: Amanda Kloer in Human Trafficking

Targeting VP, Corporate Social Responsibility (Jennifer Silberman)