No village is too far for Community Facilitators of the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office 1’s Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program (CLPEP).

They have crossed rivers, trodden through rice paddies, and reached every nook of the barangays just to fulfill their mandate to shed light in the lives of child laborers in the region.

In 2021, DOLE RO1 profiled a total of 8, 329 child laborers (CLs). With such a significant number, heightened and urgent efforts were made to refer these CLs to pertinent agencies for appropriate assistance and intervention.

Most of the profiled CLs are from Pangasinan, with 4,692 CLs. La Union recorded 1,076 CLs, while Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte noted 1,278 and 1,283 CLs, respectively.

“As we join the global community in the observance of the World Day Against Child Labor this June 12, we at DOLE RO1 emphasize our efforts to prevent and eliminate child labor in the region,” said Regional Director Atty. Evelyn Ramos.

She likewise underscored that while the numbers indeed reveal the presence of child labor in the region, these data shall pave the way for strategic and concerted efforts of all stakeholders to finally put an end to these children’s rights violations.

“This is the goal of the CLPEP, after all. First, we need to create an accurate picture of child labor in the region, and then, with these data, we now identify partnership and convergence opportunities to eliminate child labor and prevent its recurrence in the communities,” RD Ramos said.

In CLPEP, the DOLE is mandated to immediately refer these profiled CLs to relevant government agencies and other entities for appropriate intervention.

“The program requires that within 60 days after being profiled, these CLs should have already been referred for assistance, and the DOLE RO1 is fully compliant to this,” RD Ramos said.

At present, there are eight DOLE personnel in the region, called the Community Facilitators, who are directly working on the ground to prevent and eliminate child labor in the communities.