Sep 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/02/09MANILA236.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA236
2009-02-04 04:36
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #0236 0350436
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 040436Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3072
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 6494
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES IMMEDIATE 0035
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 3081
UNCLAS MANILA 000236

SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL/ILCSR MARK MITTELHAUSER
STATE FOR G/TIP STEVE STEINER
LABOR FOR DOL/ILAB RACHEL RIGBY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EIND ELAB ETRD PHUM SOCI KTIP RP
SUBJECT: COMMENT ON DOL DRAFT LIST FOR TVPRA

REF: A. SECSTATE 1730
¶B. 2008 MANILA 1383
¶C. MANILA 102
¶D. BUENOS AIRES 050
¶E. BEIJING 100

¶1. Embassy Manila appreciates the opportunity to comment on
the Department of Labor’s (DOL) draft Trafficking Victims
Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) report (reftel A),
which lists goods that DOL/ILAB believes are produced by
forced labor or child labor in violation of international
standards. While post has no additions or deletions to
recommend to the draft list of goods, we request that DOL
provide to post the basis for the inclusion of “hogs” on the
draft list for the Philippines. Post did not report on child
labor involvement in the hog industry in reftel B, and recent
conversations with the Philippine Department of Labor and
Employment (DOLE), the NGO World Vision, and the local ILO
office pursuant to preparation of our 2008 report on Child
Labor Information For The Trade And Development Act (GSP),
reftel C, did not outline any known incidents of child labor
in the hog industry. We would also like to underscore post’s
reftel B comments that reliable statistics do not exist on
the incidence and prevalence of child labor in the production
of the goods on DOL’s draft list. Post shares the concerns
expressed in reftels D and E, regarding the draft list being
used as a basis for sanctions without DOL first properly
documenting the incidence and prevalence of child labor in
the listed goods. Post requests that DOL provide information
on the sources and methodology used to compile the list so
that we will be better equipped to manage any negative
publicity and queries from host government officials and
business leaders.

¶2. Post reported in reftel B that while sugar cane,
pyrotechnics, gold ores, and tobacco are sometimes produced
with exploitative child labor in the Philippines, we could
find no reliable data on the subject. We also reported that
underage workers on sugarcane plantations are typically the
children of adult sugar workers or peasants who live on or
just outside the plantations. TQre are no available
estimates on the number of children working on tobacco
plantations. Although World Vision witnessed children
working on rice, corn, and banana plantations in certain
areas, and an ILO study identified child laborers in sugar,
rubber, and banana farming, it is difficult to determine the
rate of incidence without further data or additional
anecdotal evidence. The use of child labor in the
manufacture of pyrotechnics and fashion accessories typically
follows a complex sub-contracting supply chain wherein a
buyer or distributor orders the materials from a small
producer. These small producers then share the orders with
groups of families with small workshops in their homes or
within their villages. The production of these items is
essentially a cottage industry and is therefore very
difficult to quantify.

¶3. As detailed in reftel C, the Philippine government has
enacted the necessary laws to identify and eliminate the
worst forms of child labor and, in conjunction with its
strategic partners, is working to deter child labor. The
effectiveness of the government’s efforts, however, is
limited by lack of funds and the prevailing socioeconomic
realities of life in the rural communities where many of the
child laborers are working. The children usually work
alongside their parents as informal and undocumented
laborers. During conversations with DOLE and World Vision,
post learned that the Philippine Government and various NGOs
are working to eliminate child labor by focusing their
efforts on educating the parents of child laborers on
parental responsibilities and by providing awareness training
to the affected communities on child labor and children’s
rights.
KENNEY

   

 

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