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The Department of Labor and Employment is firm in upholding the rights of children including their protection from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, and discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development, particularly child labor and its worst forms. CLPEP aims to remove children from child labor particularly in its worst forms. The program contributes to the Philippine Program Against Child Labor of the national government interventions for eliminating or preventing child labor by promoting:

  • child-focused actions
  • rights-based approach
  • results-based management
  • gender-responsiveness
  • cultural sensitivity
  • sustainable development
  • children and youth participation
  • good governance
  • decent work for all
  • community development
  • inter-agency, tripartite and multi-sectoral collaboration

The overall approach of the CLPEP adopts 5 strategic directions. These are composed of:

  1. Knowledge Management, which

Focus is given to the barangay level and in business establishments where they mostly occur. The DOLE seeks to bring down to the community level — the barangay, the basic geo-political unit — the campaign against child labor, foster common understanding on, and gain public support. It aims to free identified barangays from child labor, and also to influence change, identify allies, and solicit commitments of support of stakeholders, specifically government agencies, non-government and faith-based organizations, local chief executives, private sector establishments, as well as the parents of child laborers.

Among the business establishments, the DOLE promotes compliant and socially responsible business practices. Specifically, it has stepped up its campaign against employment of minors by offering incentives to businesses that get certified as child labor-free. Businesses that get the seal are entitled to incentives like certificate or marker of recognition as a child labor-free establishment zone, endorsement for participation of their employees in the DOLE’s livelihood programs, guaranteed booths in job fairs and exhibits, exposure and promotion on DOLE’s website, among others.

A National Convergence Program is being implemented known as the HELP-ME Convergence Program. HELP-ME, which stands for programs or services relating to Health, Education, Livelihood and Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution, Monitoring, and Evaluation, aims to implement a sustainable and responsive convergence program to address child labor in the Philippines by providing focused, converged and synchronized strategies to effectively address the child labor problem. It also aims to strengthen the action on the prevention of children from working in hazardous work which occurs if the type of work exhibits any or all of the following characteristics:

  • debases, degrades or demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of a child as a human being; or
  • exposes the child to physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or is found to be highly stressful psychologically or may prejudice morals; or
  • work is performed underground, under water, or at dangerous heights; or
  • involves the use of dangerous machinery, equipment and tools, such as power-driven or explosive powder-actuated tools; or
  • exposes the child to physical danger such as, but not limited to the dangerous feats of balancing, physical strength or contortion, or which requires the manual transport of heavy loads; or
  • work is performed in an unhealthy environment exposing the child to hazardous working conditions, elements, substances, co-agents or processes involving ionizing, radiation, fire, flammable substances, noxious components and the like, or to extreme temperatures, noise levels, or vibrations; or
  • work is performed under particularly difficult conditions; or
  • exposes the child to biological agents such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, nematodes, and other parasites; or
  • involves the manufacture or handling of explosives and other pyrotechnic products.

Intended beneficiaries are:

1. children who are subjected to:

  • all forms of slavery, as defined under the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, or practices similar to slavery, such as sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labor, including recruitment of children for use in armed conflict; or
  • the use, procuring, offering or exposing of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for pornographic performances; or
  • the use, procuring or offering of a child for illegal or illicit activities, including the production and trafficking of dangerous drugs and volatile substances prohibited under existing laws; or
  • work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is hazardous (see notes below) or likely to be harmful to the health, safety or morals of children.

2. parents of child laborers (for DOLE’s livelihood projects)