Children for Profit
Child Labor is one of the most relevant issues in the Philippines that people need to talk about a bit more. Child Labor is the exploitation of children through labor. It is illegal and punishable by law. Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there is around 2.8 percent or 872 thousand of 31.17 million children are considered working. Studies in PSA show that child labor is common in Central Luzon, Bicol, Northern Mindanao, and Western Visayan Island regions. Children as young as 6 have been forced to work in sugarcane fields, farms, and gold mines.
As a child myself, I strongly feel against child labor. I am for children and I firmly believe that no person should be deprived of liberty based on the Constitution. Many people ask if child labor is so bad, why does the cycle continue for generations, and why do the children agree to do labor? As stated by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), one of the root problems of child labor is the generational chain of poverty. In most cases, this poverty is caused by a lack of family planning, having a minimum wage income, and the system’s lack of support and opportunities for people that are suffering generational poverty. At a young age, Filipino children have been exposed to the toxic Filipino belief of family first and always no matter what. This belief indoctrinates the children to provide for the family and take financial responsibility even though it can have a long-term negative effect on them. Child labor affects the physical and mental health of children. It can cause malnutrition, dehydration, and can stunt growth. Through child labor, children are being deprived of their right to enjoy their youth, to live a comfortable and safe life without worrying about their family’s financial situation, and to continue their education.
Child Labor is not only relevant in the Philippines but internationally. To help them, we can spread advocacy and awareness against Child Labor. The fight to abolish child labor is a tough one, but with the unity of our efforts for peace and love, hope and a good future for the victims of Child Labor is possible.
Article Written by:
Kade Allyson P. Enriquez
Kabayanan Elementary School - Grade V Diamond