THE Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) threatened to file charges against owners of firecracker factories who hire children.
The IACAT called on local government units (LGUs), particularly barangays, to adopt measures to make sure that no children will be used as laborers in the hazardous manufacturing of firecrackers.
According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, chairman of IACAT, LGUs have the responsibility to look at the operations of small firecracker manufacturers to ensure that they do not violate labor laws.
Based on the report of the International Labor Organization (ILO), 168 million children aged five to 17 were involved in child labor as of 2012. This is about one-tenth of the total child population in the world. Out of that figure, 85.3 million children were subjected to hazardous work.
Hazardous work is defined as any activity or occupation that, by its nature or type, has or leads to adverse effects on the child’s safety, health and moral development. It is a subcategory of child labor.
“Everyone must understand that the young children subjected to the manufacturing of these pyrotechnics are not aware of the risk that they are being exposed to, and their parents who allow or even push them to work do not know any better,” de Lima said.
“It is up to the government, both national and local, to protect our youth from this danger of being exposed to hazardous child labor,” she added.