In time with the celebration of Children’s month, The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights presented to the public yesterday October 4, the findings of its research on child labor in oil palm plantations in Caraga revealing that 24% of workers in the said industry are children between 5-17 years old.
“While children are supposed to go school, play and developed themselves, our study revealed that a significant number of these children living in oil palm plantations are forced to work to augment their family income,” said Daisy Arago, CTUHR executive Director.
The study was conducted by CTUHR from September 2011 to May 2012 in partnership the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), a Washington-based non-governmental organization and the
Nakahiusang Kababay-ehan sa Manat (NKM), a women’s organization in Agusan del Sur. The public presentation was co-sponsored by the Church-People Workers Solidarity (CWS).
The study showed that child workers in oil palm plantations work as much as 12 hours a day. Jobs assigned to child workers could be very physically demanding such as hauling a 15 to 50-kg palm fruit bunch and load it to the truck.
According to the study, among the factors that contribute to the presence of child labor in oil palm plantation are low access of their family members to employment, depressed wages, and the casual status of most adult workers even if they have worked in the plantations for as long as 30 years.
“We ourselves were awed to find out that palm oil plantations have very little contribution in terms of employment, which is only 18% of the total household members surveyed. Worse, palm oil companies gravely violate labor standards by not giving majority of the workers the prescribed minimum wage and by not giving them tenure even if they have worked for their respective companies or farms for decades.”
“But the government of P-Noy is still pushing for the expansion of palm oil plantations placing it among the sunshine industries. This is very alarming because communities have barely benefited from these [palm oil] plantations,” Arago added. She also said that lands belonging to lumads were reportedly grabbed by so-called lost commands during Martial law and were turned into oil palm plantations. Up to now, agrarian reform beneficiaries are swayed into long-term onerous contracts where companies only pay P2000 per hectare per year.
“Needless to say, all gains go to businesses while the life of workers and their families are barely improving. This must change,” Arago averred.
Arago also called on the public to join them in their campaign to combat child labor by supporting the campaign for the improvement of workers’ condition and providing livelihood  and services to the families in oil palm plantations. “In the end, child labor can only end if parents have the capacity to support their children by upholding their rights to a living wage, access to livelihood and social services for children and themselves.”###

12 Responses to Labor groups says 24% of workers in oil palm plantations are children; calls on the public to combat child labor

  1. Dave Mattozzi says:

    Let us pray for an end to child labor in the world.

  2. Deb Carnes says:

    Child Labor is wrong.
    Don’t need to say anything more than that

  3. Je vais copier et partager l,article comment protestation contre travail des enfants! Ca doit cesser!

  4. jennifer t. schultz says:

    I knew it. It couldnt be that easy for these corporations to clear fields and plant all these palms in such a short time. This is monstrous. There are so many places in the world where children are being used as young as five years old.
    I know that many families need money in these areas but children should be protected no matter where they live. It is bad enough that these palm plantations have almost completely wiped out the orangutans habitat now you must endanger children from accidents, injuries and death. WE MUST PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.

  5. marianne hink says:

    let children play and live, not work and die.

  6. Catherine Murray says:

    Child labour needs to be stamped out now!

  7. Robyn says:

    Oh my goodness! My heart is broken over this child abuse! What is wrong with humanity! I am a web designer, online marketer but most importantly a single mom. If there is anything I can do to assist in this fight then please let me know. You have my email. Thank you for the great post.

  8. Lelah Bender-Ferguson says:

    One needs to petition governments who allow this to continue..

    Basic human rights of these children are not being respected

  9. […] 0 Comments TweetChild labor is all too common on palm oil plantations in the Philippines, as a study by the Manila-based Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) found. The study looked at palm […]

  10. […] einen angemessenen Lebensunterhalt sowie soziale Leistungen für ihre Kinder aufrechterhalten.“ Labor groups says 24% of workers in oil palm plantations are children; calls on the public to combat… – – Englisch [zurück zum Text] Almost a Quarter of Filipino Palm Oil Workers Are […]

  11. […] Union and Human Rights (CTHUR) has accused oil plantations in Caraga, The Philippines, of routinely employing and exploiting child labourers. Children, between 5-17 years old, are expected to work as adults, up to 12 hours a day and to […]

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