The labor department has released guidelines on the profiling of child laborers to effectively draw them away from child labor and its worst forms.

Child labor refers to any work or economic activity performed by children under 18 years of age that subject them to any form of exploitation or is harmful to their health and safety or physical, mental, or psychological development.

“Given the insufficient data on child laborers, it is necessary to first conduct nationwide profiling of the target child laborers and their families which will serve as a basis for the provision of appropriate services and interventions necessary to remove the children from child labor,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in an order issued last week.

On the 2011 survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, an estimated 2.1 million children aged 5 to 17 years were engaged in child labor and 97.7% of whom were in hazardous child labor. However, the data thus not provide the names and location of the child laborers.

In his order, Bello directed DOLE Regional/Field Offices to consolidate data from its social partners for the identification and profiling of the target child laborers to assess their needs and further referred to concerned agencies for the provision of services and assistance needed by children and their families.

The profiling of the target child laborers will come from the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and through the Community Based Monitoring System implemented by various local government units.

DOLE, as the lead agency in the implementation of the Philippine Program against Child Labor and as the chair of the National Child Labor Committee, will be responsible for the monitoring and reporting if a child has already been removed from child labor.

These initiatives 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.


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