In its endeavor to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of the public on the realities of child labor and its worst forms, the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) conducted a virtual seminar advocacy with the theme “Makibahagi, Makialam at Magkaisa para sa #BatangMalaya,” as anchored in the global premise of “Act now to end Child Labor.”

Utilizing an online platform on June 17, 2021, the activity discussed the background of the Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP), the initial results of the 2021 profiling activity, Online Sexual Exploitation of Children, and the increasing risk of Child Labor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DOLE-NCR Senior Labor and Employment Officer and Child Labor Focal Person Ryan Roberto E. Delos Reyes of the Employment Promotion and Workers Welfare Division, presented an overview of child labor in the country, the definition of child labor, and the interventions of the DOLE and other partner agencies to lessen and if possible, remove child labor incidences in our country.

The Initial results of the 2021 profiling activity was presented by DOLE-NCR Community Facilitator Robert P. Bagadiong. He presented the target of NCR this year which is 8,060 child laborers and the current status of the profiling activity. He also mentioned that DOLE-NCR already achieved 17.65% of this years target as of May 31, 2021.

Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC), the worst kind of child labor, was discussed by Atty. Alexandrino Mallillin, Senior Manager from the International Justice Mission (IJM) – Manila Field Office. During his presentation, he mentioned that the lockdown brought by the health crisis have created a favorable condition for OSEC as it afforded sex offenders substantial amount of time online in their homes, and have increased traffickers’ access to victims, including their own children.

The presentation and lecture on the increasing risk of child labor during the COVID 19 pandemic was facilitated by Edgar Movilla, Planning Officer II at the Council for the Welfare of Children. In his presentation, he stressed that the loss of income is among the main reasons that force parents and caregivers to consider drastic measures that will impact the well-being of children, thinking that their actions are intended for such.

The Activity is in observance of the World Day Against Child Labor celebration that demonstrates the country’s solidarity and commitment for its worldwide campaign.

A total of 182 participants from different Local Government Offices in the National Capital Region attended the said virtual seminar.

END / Ryan Roberto Delos Reyes and Robert Bagadiong