Labor group to help gov’t end child labor

MANILA — A labor organization on Monday vowed to support the government’s efforts to fight child labor.

Julius Cainglet, vice president of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) said they are willing to help in monitoring and profiling cases of child labor.

“The Free Workers Rights Watch of the FFW can help monitor cases of child labor, forced labor and trafficking and help report these to the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) and other relevant authorities,” Cainglet said in a statement.

He was reacting to the declaration of DOLE Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod during the commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labor (WDACL) at the the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila on Saturday.

During the event with the theme “Ligtas sa Paggawa, Malusog na Batang Malaya,” the Philippines has committed to remove 630,000 children from child labor by 2022.

“Eliminating child labor, especially its worst forms, is fundamental. It’s a core international labor standard. Once a child is abused and exploited at work, it will lessen his or her chances at landing a decent job when she or he reaches legal working age,” said the chair of the Knowledge Management and Advocacy Subcommittee of the National Child Labor Committee.

“Working too soon also compromises the child’s opportunity to access quality education. Juggling work and studies at such a young age is difficult as their frail bodies and undeveloped minds do not have the capacity to deal with the stress and pressure,” he added.

The Philippines is a signatory to the International Labor Organization’s Convention 138 on the Minimum Age for Work; and Convention 182 on Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor.

Established in April, the “Free Workers Rights Watch,” is a special body within local unions across regions that is tasked to monitor general labor standards, occupational safety and health standards and observance of freedom of association and basic trade union and human rights.