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Internal Trafficking in Children for the Worst Forms of Child Labour: Final Report

This paper presents an overview of internal trafficking in children, with focus on the worst forms of child labour. Admittedly, much of previous researches and discussions on trafficking as a phenomenon had been generally concentrated on women. As far as children are concerned, and at least within the Philippine setting, trafficking has been construed more in the context of their sale, barter and illegal smuggle out of the country. This research document is based on the following data: (1) interviews conducted with seven trafficked children; (2) three case studies representing different modes of trafficking; and, (3) previous researches and studies made by government agencies and non-governmental organizations which focus on children and child labour. This paper presents the following conclusions: 1. Acknowledging Poverty as the Major Push Factor in Trafficking: Poverty as the major determining factor in trafficking of children cannot be overemphasized. It is the main reason why children are forced to work and why they must work and abandoning school in the process. 2. Call for a Comprehensive Definition of Trafficking and Continuous Data Gathering: There is no doubt that trafficking plays an important role in the exploitation of children for the worst forms of child labour. Although not all children experience being trafficked, it is highly possible that a significant proportion of them do. Trafficking therefore must be analyzed separately from the exploitation that proceeds from it. Its actual relation with and impact on the number of children exploited must also be realistically assessed. Without the available data, however, these tasks become difficult if not impossible altogether. 3. Enactment of Law on Trafficking and Adoption of Policies Consistent and Supportive of Such Law Senate Bill 1530, sponsored by Senator Loren Legarda-Leviste, was introduced in the 11th Congress. Although it failed to be enacted into law, it is expected to be refiled in the next Congress. This bill is more popularly known as the Child Labour Bill, and it is envisioned to be a comprehensive one, with special emphasis on prohibition against hazardous work, including the worst forms of child labour under ILO Convention 182. This study recommends that the aforementioned bill be further examined and improved to make it more in keeping with standards set by the Protocol on trafficking in women and children. It is proposed that the contents of the law include: 1) the specific acts and modes of trafficking potentially leading to the worst forms of child labour; 2) creation of an office within the DOLE or an inter-agency body tasked with implementing the proposed law on trafficking; 3) provision for return, care and rehabilitation of children rescued from trafficking; and, 4) civil indemnity and penal sanctions for those who actually recruit and facilitate the trafficking of the child. A good legal framework in combating trafficking in children especially for the worst forms of child labour is vital to any policy formulation on the issue as well as to any initiative involving state intervention and resources both at the national and local levels. 4. Adoption of Preventive, Protection and Rehabilitation/Reintegration Measures A comprehensive approach to addressing the problem of trafficking should include a preventive, protection and rehabilitation/reintegration component, even as the prioritization of intervention strategies may vary depending on the target communities or areas where such measures are to be implemented. Within these categories, all the stakeholders or agencies responsible for the undertaking and the support must be identified.


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