CHILDREN may be employed under certain conditions outlined in Republic Act 9231, the law protecting the working child. However, the law categorically provides that the following are worst forms of child labor and mandates that these are strictly prohibited:

  1. Subjecting the child to all forms of slavery;
  2. Engaging the child in prostitution and acts related to it;
  3. Involving the child in illegal activities such as drug dealing;
  4. Having the child carry out work which is harmful to the health, safety and morals of the child.

Violators shall be given the penalty of a fine of not less than P100,000 but not more than P1,000,000, or imprisonment of not less than 12 years and one day to 20 years, or both fine and imprisonment, subject to the discretion of the court. Violators may be the employers, subcontractors, or the one who facilitates the employment of the child. However, if the work involves trafficking or drugs, the violators shall be penalized in accordance with the law on trafficking and drugs.

The following persons, aside from the victim, may file a complaint for the foregoing acts of child labor: the parents or guardians; ascendant or collateral relative within the third degree of consanguinity; officer, social worker or representative of a licensed child-caring institution; officer or social worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development; barangay chairman of the place where the violation occurred, where the child is residing or employed; or at least three concerned, responsible citizens where the violation occurred.