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Save the Children Philippines Calls for End to Exploitative and Harmful Work for Children

In celebration of World Day Against Child Labor, Save the Children Philippines calls for an end to child labor to give every child the chance to thrive and develop to their fullest potential.

There are around 2.1 Million child workers aged 5-17 years old in the country as per the 2011 survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, most of them in hazardous and exploitative work conditions. Save the Children Philippines is concerned that figures may have changed already and the adverse impact of COVID-19 will push thousands of children into poverty, and forced labor as parents and guardians face loss of income and livelihood opportunities.

Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines said children who live in poverty are the first to suffer the consequences of the economic impact of the pandemic.

“No child should be engaged in harmful work,” said Muyot.

Save the Children Philippines is committed to partnering with the national and local governments, civil society organizations, private sector, parents and schools in finding sustainable solution to the problem in line with Article 32 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 182 on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor, and ILO Convention 138 on the Minimum Age of Employment.

Save the Children Philippines believes that deprived and marginalized children including those from Indigenous People’s communities, children with disabilities, out of school children and youth, children in conflict affected areas, those living in areas prone to natural disasters, and those from low income families are more vulnerable to exploitation and harmful work.

In the last 40 years, the child rights organization has been advocating children’s rights and implementing programs that include maternal and newborn healthcare, sustainable and inclusive learning, and protection from physical and humiliating punishments, and online sexual abuse and exploitation.

“We believe that every child has an inherent and inviolable right to health and survival, to play and learn and to be protected from all forms of abuse and violence including exploitative work,” Muyot said.

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