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A Cursory Assessment Study on the Situation of Child Labour in the Pyrotechnics Industry

The list of pyrotechnics industries in the Philippines does not necessarily indicate the location of child labour practice, but it provides an idea of the potential child labour demand that can be generated. Only Bulacan, Negros Occidental and Cebu, where the existing studies have identified child labour issues, that reflect licensed establishments in the list. These industries have encouraged more community members to engage in the trade, thus no other viable enterprises that serve as community alternative livelihood sources have flourished in these areas. The only motivation for work now, given the economic condition and the government program against the use of firecrackers during holidays, is economic survival. Given the lack of alternative sources of income, pyrotechnics industries thrive in communities because they are easy sources of labour opportunities. The three study sites are suitable for further interventions focused on eliminating child labour in the areas. The Time-Bound Program (TBP) is recommended to consider the following aspects. 1. Need for an area-based approach. It is easier to design a program at the community level as it allows the community to assume the responsibility of what is happening in their community. 2. Need to review the policy instruments regulating the industry. The enforcement of the existing law should not be seen only in terms of conduct of raids. The children and women desks of the PNP (Philippine National Police) should be involved in terms of monitoring activities with the intention of preventive interventions. 3. Need to build capacities of different agencies and groups at the local level. The core group at the local level should involve all concerned government agencies and more civil society groups. 4. Need for alternative educational strategies both for the children and parents. The potential of distance education as well as vocational trainings may be explored particularly for parents to enhance their capabilities for alternative livelihoods within the locality. 5. Need for community organizing/community development. Non-government organizations and civil groups play an important role as intermediaries or facilitators in assisting the communities and families toward improving their living conditions and with the end of eventually eliminating child labour in hazardous work. 6. Need to study the evolution of the industry into serious uses. Technical assistance should be provided to the industry to encourage sophistication in products, improve production efficiency and raise standards of the industry.


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