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CHL 35: Family, Child and Labour Migration: A Study of Domestic Workers in Metro Manila

The respondents involved in the study are mostly female, accounting for 90 percent of the total number of interviewees. Majority are 16-17 years old (92 percent). All respondents are single. The study notes that the gender profile of child domestic workers contrasts sharply from that of child labour where males considerably outnumber females. Most of the respondents who have migrated to Manila hail from the Visayas (66 percent), and mainly from the provinces of Samar, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Leyte and Bohol. The study points out that the family provides the structural context and serves as the basic unit for decision making in child labour migration. The parents and the siblings participate in the decision-making although the ultimate decision rests on the migrating child. Family participation in decision-making comes from some members of the extended family especially in cases where one or both parents are absent. Peer influence appears not to play a significant role in the decision-making process. Child labour, migrant children living away from their families, and child domestic work are complex issues fraught with dilemmas which can be rooted to the single variable common to all of them: the participation of children. What propels and perpetuates child labour migration is the intricate web or family based social networks which perpetuates child labor migration by minimizing the potential risks attendant to the process. This, along with the children’s desire to help their families in poverty situation, including financing their own education, figures in the decision to engage in domestic work in Metro Manila. Child labor migration into domestic work appears to be more a strategy of the family for survival than for social mobility, if immediate benefits are considered. However, the author notes that measurement of benefits should be made in terms of the child’s capacity to contribute to the family’s survival and social mobility. As juxtaposed with the adverse consequences of child labor migration on children and their families. Lastly, the study presents child domestic workers’ wish list on what the government and society can do for them: 1. Higher wages and more benefits; 2. Protection from abusive employers; 3. Responsive educational program; and, 4. Change in society’s low regard for domestic workers.

Collection of Studies from Other Institutions
Authors Keywords
Camacho, Agnes Zenaida V.; child labor;
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