19k child laborers in Davao Region withdrawn in last 4 years

19k child laborers in Davao Region withdrawn in last 4 years

DAVAO CITY – At least 19,455 children were withdrawn from child labor in Davao Region from 2018 to 2022, the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-11) said on Friday.

In a statement, DOLE-11 Regional Director Randolf Pensoy said the figure was based on the agency’s first quarter report for 2023, which gave them a 77.56 percent accomplishment rate on child labor concerns for the past four years.

Among the five provinces and one chartered city of the region, Davao del Norte recorded the highest number of profiled child laborers from 2018 to 2022 with a total of 6,785.

More than 90 percent or 6,142 children in the province were withdrawn from child labor as of March 2023, the agency’s records indicated. “Predominantly, child labor in Davao Region prevails in farming, fishing, mining, and domestic works,” Pensoy, a lawyer, said.

Through the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program, the DOLE-11 office profiled 25,077 children who were engaged in hazardous working conditions with each of them immediately referred for necessary services.

“Child labor is an alarming issue that deprives children of their right to education, health, and safe childhood. To eradicate this problem, DOLE-11 has undertaken a comprehensive strategy on rescuing children from exploitative labor and providing them with opportunities for a brighter future,” Pensoy added.

Children withdrawn from labor are given long-term assistance such as livelihood grants through their parents, and monitoring under DOLE’s guidelines.

Pensoy said their office had also taken part in strengthening legislation and enhancing partnerships with local communities, civil society organizations, and the private sector which yielded remarkable results, as indicated by the significant reduction in child labor cases.

“While the reduction is notable, our work is still far from over,” he said. (PNA)

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