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3 mln Filipino children engaged in hazardous labor in 2011: ILO

06-26-2012 15:46 BJT

MANILA, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The number of Filipino children engaged in hazardous labor reached 3 million in 2011, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Tuesday.

"We have to get to the root of child labor which is linked with poverty and lack of decent and productive work. While we strive to keep children in school and away from child labor, we need to ensure decent and productive work for parents and basic social protection for families," said Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines in a statement.

Citing the 2011 Survey on Children of the National Statistics Office (NSO), ILO said that of the 29 million Filipino children aged 5-17 years old, there were roughly about 5.5 million working children of which 3 million are involved in hazardous labor.

In 2001, there were 4 million working children, of which 2.4 million were in hazardous child labor. Of the 3.6 million working children recorded in 1995, 2.2 million were engaged in hazardous labor.

ILO, however, said previous results were not strictly comparable to the new findings of the NSO. It noted that there were revisions and improvements in capturing the overall picture of child labor in the Philippines.

The ILO defined hazardous labor as "being likely to harm children's health, safety or morals by its nature of circumstances ". Children may be directly exposed to obvious work hazards such as sharp tools or poisonous chemicals.

Other hazards for child laborers may be less apparent, such as the risk of abuse or problems resulting from long hours of work. Hazardous work is considered as one of the worst forms of child labour.

The National Child Labor Committee chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment launched on Tuesday a nationwide campaign aimed at ending the worst forms of child labor by 2016.

Editor:Sun Luying |Source: Xinhua

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