http://www.articlealley.com/child-labor-in-philippines-666377.htmlThe term Child Labor means illegally employing children who are less than 18 years of age indangerous and life threatening activities. Poverty is the main reason due to which children underthe age of 18 years are compelled to work in dangerous and life threatening conditions. InPhilippines there are about 2.06 million children who are forced to work in rock quarries, farms,industries, mines and on fishing boats. The consequences of Child Labor on an underage childcan be numerous and crippling on his or her physical, mental and emotional state. It canseriously hamper the well being of a child who is supposed to get a sound education andnutrition to develop into a healthy adult. Due to Child labor these children end up beingmalnutritioned, weak and can also suffer from a large number of ailments.The percentage of young people in Philippines between the age of five and seventeen is about 33percent of its total population which comes to about 22.4 million. This is a large numberconsidering that Philippines is a young nation. Between the ages of 5 to 7 years, one in every sixchildren has to work to earn a living and help support his or her family. This astounding fact tellsus that around sixteen percent of young children in Philippines are working. Child Labor isprevalent in mining, production, farming, and deep sea fishing industries and many children arealso working as domestic workers.The most common industry where child labor is practiced in Philippines is Deep-sea fishing.About forty years ago the sea around Philippines was plentiful of fish, the fishermen could makea tremendous catch just along the shore. Sadly that is not the case now as fishermen need to gomiles into the sea to get a decent catch which will get them a days meal. Many a times they needto use cyanide, dynamites and nets to able to catch a good amount of fish. There are manyfishermen who use young boys to help them catch the fish, who quite unfortunately die whilefishing, due to hazardous practices.An illegal method of fishing called Muro Ami which is used frequently in Philippines is the mostcommon form of Child labor prevalent today. In this method the young child dives down to deepdepths of the sea. He carries with him a rock or a pipe which he uses to beat the delicate corals sothat the huge number of fishes living in them get startled and are driven into large nets waiting tocatch them. Many a times these young children drown and lose their lives. This inhuman practicehas also destroyed the beautiful coral reefs surrounding Philippines.Paaling is another fishing practice which is as widespread and life threatening as Muro Ami. Ahose is connected to a surface air compressor and the young diver dives into the sea and driveshordes of fish into waiting nets with the help of a virtual bubble curtain formed by thecompressor. Many agencies are now working together to abolish the inhuman practice of childlabor and provide a safe and healthy environment for the children to grow in.Child Slave Labor in the Philippines
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source: Kristin HeinemanChild slave labor refers to the illegal employment of children below 18 years of age in hazardousoccupations. Underage children are being forced to manual labor to help their families mainlydue to poverty. About 2.06 million all around the Philippines are compelled to do labor, such asin crop plantations, mining caves, rock quarries, and factories.Child labor has many ill effects in children who are supposed to be in the environment of aclassroom rather than roaming the streets and risking every chance, time and time again, to earnmoney. Although most do get the privilege of education, most end up being dropouts andrepeaters because they are not able to focus on their studies. Because of child labor, childrensuffer from malnutrition, hampered growth, and improper biological development.The Philippines is literally a young nation with a high percentage of young people in its overallpopulation. Children between ages five and seventeen number 22.4 million, comprising a third ofthe overall Philippine population. Working children represent sixteen percent of the overallpopulation of children between ages five and seven. That means that one out of every sixchildren work (Working Children 1). In the last twelve months, 3.7 million children ages five toseventeen worked. Children from rural households make up 67.1 percent of this amount andalmost half are between the ages of five and fourteen. In addition, in the last week, 2.85 millionchildren between the ages of five and seventeen worked. Of this number, half are between theages of five and fourteen, consisting of approximately 1.4 million children. These workingchildren consist of largely of boys, who account for 65 percent. As far as the locations wherethese children work, 60 percent perform unpaid family work in their own households, 17.2percent work in their own homes and 53 percent work in family farms.One of the most common jobs for a child slave to carry out is fishing. Forty years ago, fish wereso plentiful in the Philippines that one could fish just a stones throw away from its shores.Today, fisherman sail far and often stay long in the sea to be able to bring home anything. And anet is sometimes more than what they need. Dynamites, Molotov cocktails, and cyanide arefrequently used. But others use something else. They use young enslaved boys who are usuallybrought home dead along with their catch.This illegal fishing practice, called muro ami, is widely practiced in the Philippines, and requireschildren to dive to dangerous depths to pound the easily broken corals with rocks or pipes toscare fish into a large waiting net. Young divers often drown and the coral reefs becomedevastated. A similar fishing process which is as destructive and as dangerous is paaling, whichcompels young divers to use hoses attached to a surface air compression to form a virtual bubblecurtain which forces fish into the nets. Typically, a paaling operation uses four boats, eachcarrying 25 divers.The Palawan-based Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) has documented statementsmade by 129 children who escaped from a fishing vessel using muro ami and paaling methods inJuly 2000. Eddie, 14 used to help his father farm but ran away wanting to earn money. "On July3, 1998 I started my work as a diver on the FB Unity. The boat has 350 divers with fourmanagers. We had a ten month contract to work with the company. The company said we would
be paid at the end of the contract. Our food was deducted from our salary. We were treated likeanimals and when we committed mistakes were whipped and beaten. Workers were compelled towork despite illness. We made seven dives a day and could catch fifty to seventy tubs of fish inevery dive.June 17, narrated "We had to work from 6a.m. in the morning until 5p.m. in the evening.Sometimes when we made mistakes, our supervisor whipped us with a rope almost the size of awrist. On one occasion I was whipped because I misplaced the hose. Due to the maltreatment wesuffered we decided to escape. While we can endure the diving we cannot withstand the lashingand physical brutality.ELACs document is long. It talks of miserable life, suffering and death in the sea often unknownby authorities. The fishing practices in the country have not only become desperate butdangerous.Besides the practices of muro ami and paaling, children in the Philippines are used to performother tasks as well. Nicreto, a fourteen year old boy who works in the sugar cane fields inaddition to his job as a fisher-boy decided to try his hand in the coastal area of Tagda, Hinigaran,Negos Occidental. Without proper training or education; at the age of twelve, he went to sea. Hehad to go to work at 4a.m. and would come home, with or without a catch, at three or four in theafternoon. If lucky he would have a good catch, and earn 10 to 15 pesos a day. But when fishingbecame bad, he was forced to go back to take odd-jobs in the sugar cane farm to earn at least onekilo of rice. Nicreto suffers from anemia and in his present situation, cannot even think about lifein the future. For him every day is lived only on whatever there is.Rosie, a nine year old sugar cane worker states "I am Rosie Baroquillo. I started working on thesugar cane field when I was seven years old. Now, I am nine and I will still work in the field. Istopped going to school because my family could not afford to spend the money. My father isalready dead. The money I earn is not enough to buy food. I am tired and hungry doing my workin the field. I wish I could have soup to go with the rice I eat because without soup it is hard toswallow.United States Deputy under Secretary for International Labor Affairs Thomas B. Moorehead,Philippines Secretary of Labor Patricia Santo Tomas, and Philippines Secretary of EducationRaul Roco signed a collaborative agreement on a Timebound Program to eliminate the worstforms of child labor in the Philippines on June 28, 2002. The agreement commits both countriesto work together on a number of initiatives to remove children from work, provide them accessto quality and relevant education and offer families viable economic alternatives to child labor.The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) will provide $10 million for child labor actionprograms and education initiatives. $5 million of this will go through the International Programon the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO/IPEC) and $5 million will be competitively bid andfunded by the USDOL to be a nongovernmental organization. This Timebound Program will beimplemented in communities with a high incidence of child labor with a particular focus onchildren in mining and quarrying, domestic work, pyrotechnics production, agriculture
plantations, commercial sexual exploitation, deep-sea fishing and other priority groups to bedetermined in the Philippines.With confidence, this program, along with the help of other nations like the United States, willbegin putting an end to child slave labor in the Philippines. Although they may seem likeinevitable occurrences, it is possible for a conclusion to the tremendous problems which resultfrom child slave labor.