Decent Work in the Philippines Statistics on Work That Should Be Abolished (Second of a Series)

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Thursday, April 27, 2017
The International Labor Organization (ILO) in its advocacy to promote the Decent Work Agenda describes decent work as “integral to efforts to reduce poverty and is a key mechanism for achieving equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.  Decent work involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, provides security in the workplace and social protection for workers and their families, and gives people the freedom to express their concerns, to organize and to participate in decisions that affect their lives”. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012, Preface)
During the UN General Assembly in September 2015, decent work and the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda became integral elements of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Specifically, Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. (ILO, Decent Work – Decent Work and the SDG)
In September 2008, the ILO adopted a framework of Decent Work Indicators that was presented to the 18th International Conference of Labor Statisticians in December 2008. The Governing Body endorsed the proposal to test the framework by developing Decent Work Country Profiles to pilot countries that include the Philippines which was later made possible through the project “Monitoring and Assessing Progress on Decent Work” (MAP) in 2012, with funding from the the European Union. 
The statistical measurement framework on decent work covers eleven (11) substantive elements corresponding to the four (4) strategic pillars of the Decent Work Agenda, namely: (1) employment opportunities; (2) adequate earnings and productive work; (3) decent hours; (4) combining work, family and personal life; (5) work that should be abolished; (6) stability and security of work; (7) equal opportunity and treatment in employment; (8) safe work environment; (9) social security; and, (10) social dialogue, workers’ and employers’ representation. Another element (11th) is the economic and social contest of decent work that helps determine what constitute decency in society as well as the extent to which the achievement of decent work enhances national economic, social and labor market performance. (ILO, Country Profile, 2012)
To facilitate efficient monitoring and assessment of progress towards decent work in the country, the Philippines through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) maintains the Decent Work Statistics Philippines (DeWS-Philippines), a one-stop web-based portal for decent work statistics to widen awareness on decent work among policymakers, labor organizations and employers, researchers and the general public as well.   
This issue of LABSTAT Updates presents statistics on another element of decent work which is Work That Should Be Abolished which according to international conventions involves child labor and forced labor. Limited or with no existing data series on child labor and forced labor, this issue basically focuses on working children from 2006 to 2015 which in part captures child labor  as the proxy indicator child labor. The Labor Force Survey (LFS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is the major source of data used in this report.  Related tables and metadata can be downloaded at the DeWS–Philippines website at
See more on the LabStat Updates landing page.