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CHR lauds rescue of 90,000 children from exploitative labor

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CHR lauds rescue of 90,000 children from exploitative labor
Children, who are beneficiaries of international organizations' sanitation project, review books in a school in South Upi, Maguindanao.
ILO / Minette Rimando

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) recognized the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) rescue of around 90,000 minors involved in child labor.

In 2018, the labor department began locating and identifying children at risk from exploitative work. The International Labor Organization defines child labor as interfering with a child's ability to attend regular school and depriving them of their childhood.

“CHR commends DOLE for the evidence-based and child-centered approach to address a pressing child rights issue,” said CHR Executive Director Jacqueline de Guia in a statement.

Citing figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the CHR noted a decline in the number of child laborers from 2011 to 2020.

“From around 2.1 million a decade ago, it was down to 596,900 in 2020,” De Guia said.

The labor agency's efforts to equip parents with tools and means to raise their children in a safe environment, for the human rights body, must also continue under the Marcos administration.

“Let us not deny our children of their childhood and their potential. Invest in their future by upholding their dignity, freedoms, and fundamental human rights,” De Guia added.

The DOLE's efforts are in line with the Philippine Development Plan 2017–2022 goal of reducing child labor cases by 3%. The Philippines, moreover, is a signatory to international agreements Minimum Age Convention in 1973 and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention in 1999. — Dawn Danielle Solano

CHILD LABOR

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

JACQUELINE DE GUIA

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