MANILA, Mar 4 (NNN-PNA) – The number of working children aged five to 17 in the Philippines increased in 2021, estimated at 1.37 million, according to government data released yesterday.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, also showed that the number of child labourers or children doing hazardous work and long hours in a dangerous environment increased in 2021.

In a report, PSA head, Dennis Mapa, said, the total population of children was estimated at 31.64 million in 2021.

Of the 31.64 million, Mapa said, 1.37 million or 4.3 percent were working. “(The number) was higher than the proportion of working children in 2019 and 2020, of 3.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively,” he said.

The data showed that, the number of working children was higher among boys than girls. Of the 1.37 million working children in 2021, 62.8 percent were boys, while 37.2 percent were girls.

In 2019 and 2020, more than 65 percent of the working children were boys.

Most working children were 15 to 17 years of age, accounting for 63.8 percent of the total working children in 2021. The 2021 number was lower than the proportion of working children aged 15 to 17 years, of 68.9 percent in 2020 and 67.4 percent in 2019.

The data showed, most working children are in the agriculture sector, followed by services and the industry sector. Northern Mindanao in the southern Philippines posted the highest number of working children.

In 2021, the data revealed that, the total number of working children engaged in child labour was estimated at 935,000, higher than the reported working children involved in child labour in 2020, at 597,000 and in 2019 at 640,000.

Child labour is any work or economic activity a child performs that subjects them to exploitation, harms their health and safety, or affects physical, mental, or psychological development.

Of the estimated 935,000 working children engaged in child labour in 2021, 626,000 or 67.0 percent were boys, while 309,000 or 33.0 percent were girls.


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