Asia Leads World in Child-Labor Products: US Report


WASHINGTON – India, Bangladesh and the Philippines lead the world in the number of products made by child workers, a US government stock-taking of the global scale of underaged labor revealed Monday.

Some 130 types of goods – from building bricks and soccer balls to pornography and rare ores used in cellphones – involve child labor in 71 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Department of Labor said.

“We believe that we all have God-given potential … and every child should be given the right to fulfil their dreams,” said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis at the release of the 10th annual “Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor.”

Focusing this year on hazardous work performed by children, and relying in good part on International Labor Organization data, the report examines efforts by more than 140 countries to address the worst forms of child labor.

The International Labor Organization estimates that more than 215 million children are involved in child labor.

One-third of countries have yet to define hazardous kinds of work prohibited to children, it said. Some nations have no minimum age for such work, and still more lack the means to monitor and enforce bans on dangerous child labor.

A rundown of goods produced by child labor, issued alongside the report, underlined the degree to which youngsters in developing nations are forced to work, rather than go to school, for little if any wages.

India topped the list, with its children being used to make no fewer than 20 products, including bidis, bricks, fireworks, footwear, glass bangles, incense, locks, matches, rice, silk fabric and thread, and soccer balls.… Read the rest

Bicol Takes Fight vs Child Labor to the Internet

Labor officials in Bicol have taken the fight against child labor to the Internet, with a web-based system that profiles and tracks down child labor offenders.

The Child Labor Knowledge Sharing System (CLKSS) program is accessible to child labor program coordinators and the Regional Anti-Child Labor Committee.

“It is basically a regional data hub. Any member of the RACLC, or any claim holder or duty bearer may register or log on to the CLKSS portal” and gain access to its products and services, as well as participate in twits or discussions”, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Child Labor Program (CLP) Coordinator and Statistician Cyre Cabredo said.

DOLE Bicol regional head lawyer Alvin Villamor noted lack of data on child labor is a tough problem in the DOLE’s child labor prevention and elimination program.

“The CLKSS, which is being administered by the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), contains relevant information on child labor cases, statistics on child labor, and other data that may lead to the detection, apprehension and, hopefully, putting behind bars child labor offenders,” the DOLE said. Read more

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest