6 January 2017, Quezon City, Philippines—BAN Toxics joins different government agencies and civil society organizations in launching programs to combat child labor in the Philippines. The event Makiisa Para Sa 1 Milyong batang Malaya (One with the children to end child labor) will introduce three major initiatives against child labor on January 12, 2017.
This simultaneous launch of projects represents a special convergence of efforts by different stakeholders to eliminate child labor. Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s 2011 Survey on Children, roughly 2.1 million Filipino children participated in child labor which occurs in various sectors in the country, and the problem continues to persist. The worst forms of child labor jeopardize the safety, health and morals of children.
Child labor in mining is one of the worst forms of child labor as it exposes children to poor/dangerous working conditions, heavy workloads and hazardous chemicals. Despite these risks, it remains highly unregulated and poorly monitored. One of the projects to be launched will address the root causes of child labor in small-scale mining. This project called CARING Gold is funded by the United States Department of Labor and will be implemented by BAN Toxics and the International Labour Organization (ILO) together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
CARING Gold aims to eliminate child labor, improve working conditions and eliminate the use of mercury in small-scale mining. Moreover, it will support the establishment of business models for small-scale mining operations focusing on formalization and sustainability thereby emphasizing compliance with labor, environmental and health standards. The project’s pilot site is Camarines Norte in the Bicol Region of the Philippines.