CHILDREN of female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are widely viewed as being more vulnerable to abuses and exploitation, according to officials of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
In a press conference for the signing of the memorandum for understanding on child protection, OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they have observed that more children, whose mothers are working abroad, have been subjected to abuses and exploitation.
“Meron talagang bad area. Meron talagang big number of OFW children left behind just by looking at the data on OFWs, lalo na on OFW kasambahays, who are mostly women,” said Cacdac.
He, however, said their observation is not yet supplemented by actual figures as they are still culling the data.
Labor Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad said several studies and anecdotes have revealed that migration is one of the major drivers of sexual, physical, and even psychological abuse of children.
“Typically, children are left behind and OFWs will work for a couple of years. It could even reach 10 years. And children are left to their guardians. And there is a high possibility, according to statistics, that children are being abused. Maybe through a direct effort or even through negligence,” he said.
And with abuses against children of OFWs expected to further increase due to the trend of labor migration, DOLE decided to partner with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Justice.