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Non-Hazardous Activities for Children: The Case of Banana and Sugarcane Supply Chains

To protect children from hazards, abuses, exploitation, neglect, and cruelty, the country passed legislations including Republic Act9231 or the “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”, amending RA 7671 of 1992. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also issued Department Order 149, seriesof2016 or the “Guidelines in Assessing and Determining Hazardous Work in Employment of Persons Below 18 Years of Age to protect the rights and welfare of children in the Philippines.” In2017, DO No.149-17 was released adding various tasks in the list of works not allowable for children. While cognizant of the hazards and risks, stakeholders value the importance and relevance of children’s participation in agricultural and farm activities, hence the proposed amendments to RA 9231 including “Non-Hazardous Works for Children”. In this context, this study seeks to provide evidence to the policymaking process, particularly in terms of determining non-hazardous works for children. The focus of the study is to document and identify whether or not there are tasks that can be done by children across the supply chains of sugarcane and banana. The analyses are based on key informant interviews and consultations with relevant stakeholders in the field, specifically in the provinces of Batangas (Region IV-A), Mindoro (Region IV-B), Iloilo, and Negros (Region VI), Bukidnon (Region X) and Davao (Region XI). The findings show that there are low-risk activities across the supply chains of banana and sugarcane that children can perform. With proper guidance, supervision, training, and the use of protective measures, low-risk activities may be considered non-hazardous to children.


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