Philippines to give child labour a red card

The Philippines is joining the “Red Card to Child Labour” global campaign to end child labour. The Red Card campaign was announced at the closing of the third Global Child Labour Conference in Brasilia last week, and has already gained the support of Hollywood stars as well as artists and athletes from the around the world.

Press release | Manila, Philippines | 17 October 2013
The Philippines is joining the “Red Card to Child Labour” global campaign to end child labour.

The Red Card campaign was announced at the closing of the third Global Child Labour Conference in Brasilia last week, and has already gained the support of Hollywood stars as well as artists and athletes from the around the world.

A red card is used in several sports, including football, to indicate a serious offense. The football link is particularly appropriate because children in some Asian countries used to be forced to work making footballs, instead of playing the game.

To mark the launch of the Red Card to Child Labour in the Philippines, about 200 former child labourers will play in the Batang Malaya football tournament on 17 October, in partnership with the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) and the Younghusband Football Academy.

The NCLC, chaired by the Department of Labor and Employment, supports the global campaign to boost national efforts to end child labour under the Batang Malaya: Child Labour Free Philippines.

The US Department of Labor has recently cited the Philippines as one of the 10 countries making significant advancements in ending the worst forms of child labour (the other countries were Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gibraltar, Indonesia, Peru and Thailand).

In 2011 the Philippines National Statistics Office estimated there were 3 million child labourers (aged 5-17) in the country, about 99 per cent of whom were in hazardous work. Agriculture remains the sector with the most child labourers but children also work in mines, on the streets, in factories, and in private homes as child domestic workers.

“Child labour as a complex issue is much related to poverty. Without access to decent and productive work, parents find themselves in vulnerable forms of employment. They are forced to accept or to create whatever work is available, at the same time, to send their children to work in order to survive,” said Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines.

Globally, according to ILO estimates the number of child labourers declined by one-third between 2000 and 2012; from 246 million to 168 million. More than half of the 168 million child labourers are engaged in hazardous work, dangerous to their health, safety or moral development.

The ILO has recognized there is global progress towards ending child labour but has pointed out that the decline is still too slow to meet the goal of ending the worst forms of child labour by 2016. According to the ILO, this will require strong political will and collective action.

Director Johnson pointed out that individuals can hold up their own Red Card to child labour, by not buying goods or services involving child labour, not employing children as child domestic workers and reporting cases of child labour.

“Remember, 3 million child labourers in the Philippines. This means 3 million reasons for us to take action against child labour just in the Philippines and more than 168 million reasons globally,” said Director Johnson.

Many companies, organizations and individuals have supported the football tournament - and the campaign against child labour - by providing school supplies, football and school shoes, socks, jerseys, snacks and other items.

They included ABS-CBN as exclusive media partner, Landbank of the Philippines, Consuelo Foundation, Wang Videography, Imagine Nation Photography, Dole Philippines, Inc., SM Cares, SM Supermalls, Post Ad Ventures, Blue Leaf Pavilion and Accel.

Molten, Globe Telecom, Kettle Food Corporation, Megaworld, St. Luke’s Medical Center, United Football League, Gatorade, ILO Manila Staff Union, St. Scholastica’s College, DMCI Homes, University of the Philippines Alpha Sigma Fraternity, International School Manila, San Miguel Foundation, 3M Post-it, McDonald's, Royal Innovations Inc., Shining Light Foundation, Inc., Manila Genesis Entertainment and Management, Inc. and the local government of Taguig also supported the campaign against child labour.

For further information please contact:


Ms Minette Rimando
ILO Country Office for the Philippines
+63 2 580 9905 or 580 9900
Email

Mr Cesar Giovanni Soledad
ILO-International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour
+63 2 580 9946 or 580 9900
Email