ILO: Child labor up in Yolanda-hit areas

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Friday, June 13, 2014


ONE in every two barangays in areas hit by Typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan) last November were found to have child laborers engaged in "harsh and dangerous" work.

In a statement, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said that based on their assessment back in March and April, more than half of the 112 barangays assessed in Western and Central Visayas revealed the presence of child laborers.

"About 54 percent of barangays reported that children are involved in child labor or in harsh and dangerous labor," said the ILO.

What is worse, it noted, is that three in every four of these barangays saw children not being able to go to school in order to work.

"Some 75 percent of barangays reported that children, who are working, are not able to go to school," said the ILO.

The labor organization said the result of the study is not totally surprising as the situation in Yolanda-hit areas is conducive to child labor.

"Poor households are more likely to have to resort to child labor to meet basic needs and deal with uncertainty," said the ILO.

The ILO, then, called on the national and local government to introduce social protection instruments that will provide poor families the ample support that will remove the need for child labor.

These include cash and in-kind transfer program; public employment program; social health protection; maternity benefits; social protection for people with disabilities and those who suffer from employment-related injuries or diseases; income security in old age; and unemployment protection. (HDT/Sunnex)

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