Kaugmaon – To protect children from child labour

Child trafficking is strongly linked to the problem of child labour. The available statistics about child labour are not reliable, because they do not cover the high estimated number of unknown cases. Unknown cases occur through hidden child labour but also the low public consciousness about the problem prevents a clear understanding of the magnitude of the problem. Despite the doubt about the accuracy of the figures, it is a fact that the problem of child labour is increasing. Data by the International Labour Organization (ILO) show that child labour has significantly increased in the Philippines during the years of 2002 to 2012 and currently approximately 5.49 million children are involved in child labour.

Children work to improve the family’s income. Meanwhile they endanger their own development and decrease their chances of experiencing social mobility in their lives. Child labour obstructs elementary education as well as the personal and emotional development of a child.

Official figures for Davao assume that 114,000 children are involved in dangerous child labour. This number will grow due to the accelerated development of the City of Davao to an urban metropolis and the intensified competition for resources including labour.

The cooperation between AWO International and Kaugmaon has existed since the end of 2010. Kaugmaon focuses on the reduction of child labour in four barangays (sub-districts) in the City of Davao (Tibungco, Ilang, Panacan and Callawa).

In the first phase of the project, Kaugmaon focused on the initiation and founding of community based structures as children’s and parents’ groups and Child Rights Advocates. In all project districts those groups were established. Within the groups key people were chosen who were qualified to act as multipliers. Those key people organized several seminars, trainings, workshops, as well as theatre performances in the project districts to raise consciousness about child labour as well as to sensitize pubic institutions. After establishing the mentioned community-based organizations, increasing the number of their members and providing trainings on the field of organisational development, the groups shall be supported to create services. Such participative services shall be invented on the basis of specific problems of the members, to ensure that the services lead sustainably to an improved living condition for those affected. Furthermore it will be focused on the organization’s ability to represent their interests in a more effective way than before. Amended legal parameters shall be created to protect children from child labour.

Kaugmaon changed its legal form in January 2014 and was registered by the Security Exchange Commission under the name of KAUGMAON for Children’s Rights and Social Development. The actual foundation date was as early as 1984. Since then KAUGMAON has cared about underprivileged families, particularly children. Meanwhile their focus moved from the early childhood development to the issue of child labour, which became the organization’s substantial core concern. Kaugmaon differentiates between child work in general, which might be beneficial in the development of a child and child labour in especially dangerous conditions, which are against a child’s welfare and best interests and disentitle the child’s rights.

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Kaugmaon for Children's Rights and Social Development, Inc.
59 Vinzon-Cervantes Sts., Bo. Obrero,
Davao City, Philippines
Email: kaugmaon [at] gmail.com

Website: www.kaugmaon.org.ph
Executive Director: Florie May Tacang