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Publication Detail
CHL 2002-69: Improving Labor Standards in the Philippines: The Case of Child Labour

This study is concerned with the situation of children who have to work long hours or under detrimental conditions in order to ensure their own or their families survival. The types of work performed by children that is referred to in this study as “child labour” is work that deprives children of their childhood and their dignity, which hampers their access to education and the acquisition of skills, and which is performed under conditions detrimental to their health and overall development. The findings of the study suggests that efforts to make school more accessible and less costly can significantly reduce the likelihood that children will leave school to work. Priority should be given to regions that have lagged behind in terms of the level of educational infrastructure available. The government spends too little for health and nutrition services. Children who are malnourished and of poor health perform poorly in school, are likely to fall behind and eventually drop out of school altogether. Under these circumstances they are constrained to look for work. Hence, efforts to reduce child malnutrition, morbidity, and mortality should help in moderating the incidence of child labour. The findings of this study also show a strong association between the number of children in a household and the incidence of child labour. Moreover, it is a stylized fact that poor households tend to have higher fertility rates. On average, a Filipino woman has one more child than she wishes. Any program to alleviate poverty, therefore, should have, as a major component, more decisive efforts to help low-income families achieve their desired number of children. Child labour is a complex phenomenon and it will take some time before the broad-based policies outlined above can have any significant impact. Given the large divergence between the social benefits and the social costs of eliminating child labour, one can always argue on efficiency grounds for the allocation of additional resources to finance more direct interventions against child labour. However, efficiency also dictates that an evaluation be made of policies and programs that are cost-effective and that have the highest probability of success. Hence, we turn our attention to the elements of good practice by drawing upon the considerable experience the country has accumulated over the past few years in the campaign to eliminate child labour.

Collection of Studies from Other Institutions
Authors Keywords
Villamil, Winfred M.; child labor;
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