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DSWD observes Labor Day with firm commitment to combat child labor

As the nation celebrates Labor Day on Wednesday (May 1), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has reaffirmed its unwavering dedication to protecting the welfare and well-being of the country’s labor force including child laborers.

“Labor Day not only signifies the contributions of workers but also underscores our collective responsibility to safeguard the rights and welfare of our workforce and the children involved in labor,” Asst. Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group Irene Dumlao, who is also the agency spokesperson, said.

While the celebration recognizes the significant contributions of the workforce, Asst. Sec. Dumlao said Labor Day celebration also serves as a reminder of the value and rights of every worker, including the children who are engaged in labor.

“The DSWD stands at the forefront of the battle against child labor, recognizing that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive, learn, and play in a safe and nurturing environment,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao pointed out.

Through its Strategic Help Desks for Information, Education, Livelihood, and Other Developmental Interventions or SHIELD Against Child Labor, the DSWD has served some 10,192 child laborers from 2021 to 2023.

From the official data of identified child laborers, some 1,986 SHIELD beneficiaries were already assessed to be free from any form of child labor and have been reintegrated into their respective families and communities.

“Through the local help desk established under the program, support services from various agencies for child laborers and their families are readily available to ensure immediate and accessible developmental intervention at the ground,” the DSWD spokesperson noted.

Asst. Sec. Dumlao said the identified child laborers were provided with holistic and immediate interventions at the community level including the provision of services from the DSWD such as educational assistance, cash aid under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), and case management from the DSWD and case referrals to other agencies.

The DSWD spokesperson reiterated that the Department joins in celebrating the important contributions of the workforce as the country commemorates Labor Day while also promoting their well-being, especially in protecting children from becoming victims of child labor.

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