DAVAO CITY – Kaugmaon for Children’s Rights and Social Development, Inc. (Kaugmaon) continues to strengthen its advocacy against child labor through different activities carrying the theme, “Mga Batang Nanarbaho: Nakit-an; Nadunggan; Unsa ang Tubag sa Katilingban?”
Kaugmaon aims to raise the awareness of the community regarding child labor. Kaugmaon Executive Director Florie May Tacang said the activities aim to come up with a resolution and to consolidate program for the child laborers.
According to International Labour Organization (ILO), child labor is defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.
In 2011, ILO recorded around 5.5 million cases of child labor in the Philippines. The survey further reveals that most of the cases involved children aged five to 17 years old.
A study revealed that at least one in every five households in the Philippines has one child laborer.
Read related story: Survey: At least 1 in 5 PH households has one child laborer
Kaugmaon is working together with offiicals from Barangays Tibungco, Panacan, Ilang and Callawa.
“There are plans and efforts made by the barangays for our child laborers, as well as for their parents. This includes helping the children get scholarship from companies,” Tacang said.
Kaugmaon, as well as the partner barangays, is also an active member of the Help Me Convergence program against child labor spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment.
The convergence program was launched during the celebration of World Day against Child Labor last June 12.
Read related story: World day against child labor launched
Romelyn, 15, a resident of SPS Kabayan, Tibungco relocation, said she needed to work to suffice the needs of the family and support herself to go to school.
“We cannot eat if I will not work,” she said.
Romelyn used to collect garbage to earn. Now she is an active member of Kaugmaon and is one of the group’s peer educators.
Kaugmaon provides educational support to child laborers and organizes parents to teach them about their responsibilities and to provide them with livelihood.
Tacang also said that the barangays should recognize the issue of child labor in order to come up with programs for child laborers.
Meanwhile, Kaugmaon will have a multi-sectoral forum on child labor on June 29, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, which will be held at St. Alfonso Hall, Redemptorist Parish along JP Laurel Avenue here.
The group is inviting the second district councilors, congresswomen, barangay leaders, and the media to join them on the said activity.(davaotoday.com)