The labor department, along with its social partners, joins other nations in observance of the World Day against Child Labor to draw public attention to the problem that puts the children at harm.

In a 2011 survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, an estimated 2.1 million children aged 5 to 17 years were engaged in child labor. This prompted calls for convergence efforts from various government and non-government organizations to combat child labor and its worst forms.

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, the chair of the National Child Labor Committee, encouraged all concerned to join the annual celebration at San Andres Sports Complex, Malate, Manila on June 23 for a clear understanding of the issue, and become active partners of the government in ending child labor.

“Despite significant advancement we achieved against child labor, we will continue to work together to achieve a child-labor free Philippines and provide clear understanding of child labor issues among the poor households whose children are at risk of being child laborers,” Maglunsod said.

With the theme, “Ligtas sa Paggawa, Malusog na Batang Malaya”, the celebration, which is packed with performances from various groups, will focus on the need to end child labor and improve the safety and health of young workers in the country.

Also, DOLE Project Angel Tree Team, a community of sponsors committed to provide aid to child laborers and their families will provide bags, school supplies and jackets to hundreds of child laborers during the event.

These initiatives of the labor department are aligned to the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, which targets to reduce the cases of child labor by 30 percent or 630,000 from the estimated 2.1 million child laborers nationwide.

END/Abegail De Vega

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