Dumpsite kids: between the worst forms of child labour and child day care

Worst form of child labour, neglect, or simply no alternative for day care?

This is on Tacloban City dumpsite, the photo taken end of March, and shows one of the problems we are facing in clearing up in the Philippines after Yolanda..The scavengers need the income they earn, and some of them also need their kids to work on the dumpsite, to be able to feed their families. Some families have to live from as little as 500 PHP (11 US$ or 8.50 Euros). Some of the kids are as young as four or five, and their parents seem to bring them to the dumpsite because they have no alternative for day care. Other kids will come to look for recyclables for an hour or two per day, they seem to earn their own pocket money to be able to buy themselves a soft drink.

Since this constitutes one of the worst forms of child labour, one of the objectives of the current UNDP project is to improve the working conditions of the adult scavengers, to enable them to work more efficiently and earn more money. At the same time, we are planning to set up a child friendly space outside the dumpsite before September 2014, where the kids will get the opportunity to go to school, play, eat under clean and hygienic conditions.

Philippines: Kids on the dumpsite

Kids on a waste cliff

These kids were having a break from scavenging recyclables on the Santo Niño waste dumpsite in Tacloban.

Philippines: The friendly kids of Tanauan (Leyte)

Kids on a dumpsite in Tanauan

These kids were just playing on the dumpsite, it was a rainy Saturday, but this bunch was really cheerful.

After the Flood (1)

Child in front of flooded area at Laguna del Rincon, Dominican Republic, 2008

Kid exploring flooded area after the 2007 storms Noel and Olga (photo taken 2008).