"The children are the future of our nation." This famous line of Dr. Jose Rizal has gained prominence especially among policy makers in their quest to develop and implement laws and programs that will propel the total development of a nation's millions of children. I personally agree with Rizal's vision since each child is a potential contributor in the improvement of society. A child may seem insignificant in determining the status or condition of a society, but collectively it is a major determinant in a society's progress.
Unfortunately, in the Philippines, street children are victims of trafficking for illegal employment and prostitution. This is due to the poverty, hunger and abuse which a street child experiences at an early age. Street children become more susceptible to these illegal treatments because of the lack of education and awareness toward their society, environment and human rights. As a result, they tend to disregard education and start working at an early age to be able to help themselves as well as their family financially.
Child labor is the illegal employment of children below the age of 15, where they are not directly under the sole responsibility of their parents or legal guardians. Furthermore, the child's work endangers their life, safety, health and morals or it hinders them from schooling. It also includes the situation of children below the age of 18 who are employed in hazardous occupations. In the 1997 Asian consultation on Child Labor, representatives of government and non-government organizations, as well as the child workers themselves tallied the most intolerable forms of child labor. These include the following: prostitution of children and similar work in the entertainment industry, children used as soldiers, mining and quarrying, construction work, deep-sea fishing, smuggling of illegal substances, scavenging and pyrotechnics.
The negative impact of child labo...