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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Congressman Roilo Golez on RH, Maternal Deaths and Child Labor

Update 4/7/12: this press release has been picked up by Sun Star Manila: RH 'not a magic wand' vs child labor, maternal deaths

(For background, see this: Lawmakers attribute rise in child labor to lack of RH law)

From Congressman Roilo Golez:

Press Statement on RH and Child Labor, UNFPA, Maternal Mortality and HIV

The pro RH group is blaming the lack of an RH law on the child labor problem in the Philippines. They claim that with an RH law, the child labor problem will disappear. 

What they don't disclose is that child labor is a major problem worldwide, including in countries with strong RH and abortion laws especially in China, the model for RH of many RH advocates in the Philippines.

In their latest available report, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that "around the world, about 250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work. Of these 250 million children, 120 million of them work full time, with 61% of them working in Asia, 32% in Africa, and 7% in Latin America . In Asia, with China being a leader in the manufacturing business, it's no surprise that they would house 61% of the 120 million full time child laborers. An article by Ching-Ching Ni of the Los Angeles Times describes how the Chinese government forbids child workers under the age of sixteen, but it is also states that this law isn't enforced very well. It's estimated that as many as 10 million children are working in China 's factories, contributing their part to keep China a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse. The employers of child laborers make as much as they can, for as little as they can, as if a life of a child is considered “little” at all." 

After decades of pro- RH, and one-child policy backed by a strong pro-abortion program and more than ten years of 10% economic growth, China still has more than ten million child workers. With that record in China, how can the pro-RH group call the RH bill a magic wand against child labor?

The pro RH group keeps on quoting reports from the UNFPA which is headed by Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin who is from Nigeria. Mr. Babatunde was a recent visitor to the Philippines and he lectured us on the "merits" of RH such as maternal mortality and HIV. The UNFPA office in the Philippines is also headed by a Nigerian, Madam Ugochi Florence Daniels and she is one of those vigorously promoting the RH Bill in the Philippines.

Nigeria has a strong RH program.

But how can said UNFPA officials lecture us on RH when Nigeria has a dire record on child labor, maternal mortality and HIV?

Nigeria has a population of around 170 million compared to our 95 million, but per latest United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF) report on Child Labour, Nigeria has "a staggering 15 million children under the age of 14 were working across Nigeria and that many were exposed to long hours of work in dangerous and unhealthy environments. These children, according to the report carried too much responsibility for their age." 

On Maternal Mortality, Nigeria is a very high number 9 in the world while the Philippines 
is a very low no. 76, yet the pro RH group idolizes the UNFPA head who is from Nigeria. 

On HIV, Nigeria has more than 2,000,000 cases, one of the highest in the world while the Philippines is among the lowest. 

Yet, the RH group is listening to the UNFPA executive director and the UNFPA country head for the Philippines, both of whom are from Nigeria where child labor, maternal mortality and HIV rates are severely high and among the highest in the world. RH in Nigeria is apparently a big failure in the fight against child labor, maternal mortality and HIV.

1 comment:

  1. These are weak arguments: the person heading UNFPA is from Nigeria, Nigeria has a bad record so a RH bil will not work. Give me a break... are these really the only arguments left in the anti-RH camp?

    Oh wait, I'm on a fight RH bill blog... My comment will never get published anyway...