Monday, May 3, 2010

The Philippines

Almost forty percent of the population of the Philippines lives below the national poverty line, and 47.5% of the total population lives on less than $2 per day.

Malnutrition: In 2006 UNDP reported that 19% of Filipinos were undernourished and an estimated 26% of Filipino children are stunted. Malnutrition can cause illness, developmental problems and death.

Child Labor: Many children are forced to work to support their families, often in exploitative and abusive environments due to the high level of poverty persistent in the country. The US Department of Labor estimates that the number of children employed in child labor in the Philippines is between 5 and 5.7 million. Child labor often causes children to forego education and is detrimental to their well-being.

Documentation: According to UNICEF nearly 1.7 million children do not have birth documentation. This means that these children are unable to access necessary services such as healthcare, education and government protection. Children without birth documentation are more vulnerable, especially because the Philippines does not have a national child protection monitoring and reporting system to oversee the occurrence of abuse and exploitation.

Armed Conflict
Armed Conflict between separatist groups in the southern Philippines and government forces has persisted for over forty years. There are more than a million displaced persons in the region, and many of them are children. These children often lack access to basic services such as education and healthcare because of the conflict. Furthermore, this absence of basic resources has led many children to become involved with armed groups.

UNICEF estimates that there are 1.8 million orphans in the Philippines. Many other children live without permanent parental care as a result of abandonment or relinquishment. The primary cause being the extreme poverty that persists in the country, which makes it difficult for parents to care for their children.

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