Early Exposure of Poor Filipino Children in Drudgery

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Thesis Statement: The different forms of child labor exploitation or harmful labor have negative emotional, physical or mental impact on child laborers in the Philippines. 

I. Introduction

Childhood is the most innocent stage in human life. It is the phase of life

wherein a child is learning new things, fun-loving, free from all tensions and is the

sweetheart of all family members. But this is only one side of the story. The other is

full of tremendous problems and burdens. In this case, the innocent child is not the

sweetheart of the family, instead, he/ she is an earning machine working the entire day

in order to satisfy the needs and wants of his/ her family. This is what we call “Child


There are various causes and effects of child labor that could totally affect

or even damage children’s lives. The consequences of child labor to a child can be

numerous and crippling on his/ her physical, mental and emotional state. It can

seriously hamper the well being of a child who is supposed to get a sound education

and nutrition to develop into a healthy adult.

[1]”Child labor is horrible. These children get hurt, maimed, even killed. And guess what? Most kids in schools don’t even care. That is why we need to learn about it in school. To make a difference.”

It is important to speak about the practice of abusive and exploitative child

labor in order for us to be aware of these cases. Although most of the child workers do

get the privilege of education, most end up being dropouts and repeaters because they

are not able to focus on their studies. 

By becoming aware of the consequences that the child workers might face

from their situations, we shall become vigilant by fighting its cause and therefore

contribute towards the goal of eliminating the child labor cases in our country.

II. Analysis

A. Historical Background

Child labor can be traced to the period of industrialization. It is

believed that between 1780 and 1840, child exploitation was a foregone practice. It

was common to find children working in factories, farms and mills. Some children

started working as tourist guides; some worked as waiters or even set up small


Worst forms of child exploitation included military use of children and child

prostitution. Families led lives which were manipulated by their employers. They

would work for more than 72 hours a week for company owned amenities like

goods and houses and for a small pay.

Many anti-child labor movements were organized and led by working women and

middle class consumers. However, even today many cases of child labor in the

Philippines are not registered due to different reasons. Although the country has

made remarkable strides to stop child labor, it still exists. The fight is still ongoing.

According to the International Labor Organization, the number of working children

is increasing daily. Sad but true, children are still being exploited in sweatshops. 

B. Literature Review

Children as a Source of Labor

1. Unpaid Household Work

The most common unpaid work within the household and also

most common across all types of unpaid work was household work with

activities such as cooking, laundry, ironing, cleaning and gardening. The

researchers found out that three-fourths of the children under took household

work. Parents of the children who work within the household work have

their time to relax and parents appreciate this as there rest day. In this case,

children usually learn their task from their parents or older siblings.

2. Children as Income Earning Assets

From interviewing some labourers, the researchers found out that

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