Left photo: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco, together with Assistant Secretary Aleli B. Bawagan, hands over the SHIELD Against Child Labor Storybook to Jhon Andrei Advincula, a child labourer from Catanauan, Quezon who received intervention under the pilot implementation of SHIELD Project. Right photo: Ms. Cathy Untalan, Ms. Philippines-Earth 2006, leads the storytelling of “Si Elena At Ang Kanyang Mga Pangarap” SHIELD Storybook to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) children beneficiaries.

Left photo: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco, together with Assistant Secretary Aleli B. Bawagan, hands over the SHIELD Against Child Labor Storybook to Jhon Andrei Advincula, a child labourer from Catanauan, Quezon who received intervention under the pilot implementation of SHIELD Project.
Right photo: Ms. Cathy Untalan, Ms. Philippines-Earth 2006, leads the storytelling of “Si Elena At Ang Kanyang Mga Pangarap” SHIELD Storybook to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) children beneficiaries.

As part of its continued fight against child labor, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), together with other members of the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), today launched a storybook which aims to raise awareness among children about the dangers of child labor or work that deprives children of their childhood, potential, and dignity, and that is harmful to their physical and mental development.

Entitled, “Si Elena At Ang Kanyang Mga Pangarap,” the storybook was created to support the Strategic Helpdesks for Information, Education, Livelihood and other Developmental Interventions (SHIELD) Against Child Labor Project, a model of intervention launched by the Department earlier this year to help eliminate child labor, particularly its worst forms, by strengthening the fight against it in the barangay and community levels in pilot areas.

The storybook intends to educate children, including those who have been victims of child labor, the dangers brought by working in harmful and dangerous situations at an early age. It aims to raise awareness of the situation faced by millions of Filipino children who have been subjected to heavy and hazardous work.

According to the 2011 Survey on Children of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are 2.1 million child laborers aged 5-17 years old in the country. About 95 percent of them are performing hazardous work.

The storybook was developed by the DSWD and other members of the NCLC, which consists of different National Government Agencies (NGAs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). It is part of the #1MBatangMalaya (one million free children) campaign of the committee, which encourages the public and stakeholders to take action against the worsening problem of child labor in the country.

The book will be distributed to children, particularly child laborers, in Regions CALABARZON, V, and VIII. It will be distributed in the communities, in schools, day care centers, and during the conduct of advocacy sessions.

“The DSWD, together with its partners and members of the NCLC, is continuously strengthening its fight against the worsening problem of child labor in the country. Part of what we are doing is to raise awareness on the plight of millions of children who have been forced to do heavy and hazardous work at an early age for their families due to poverty,” DSWD Officer-in-Charge Emmanuel A. Leyco said.

“We need to help set children free from the burden of child labor which has been robbing them of their childhood and depriving them of their right to leisure, education, and healthy development,” OIC Leyco added.###