Child Rights in Turkey
Seasonal agriculture and garment industries are amongst the prominent industries in Turkey which The Centre works in. These sectors are highly seasonal, with an estimated 800,000 seasonal migrant workers criss-crossing different regions to secure manual work for months at a time, and are also linked to serious child rights risks. In agriculture settings, seasonal migrant families lack access to childcare and education for their children, many live in squalid make-shift conditions, lack social protection and are often straddling the extreme poverty line.
Our work in the manufacturing sector has shown that during the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant workers have voiced concerns about the lack of health protection for them and their families, while women have been disproportionally affected by income loss.
Turkey is also home to the largest number of refugees in the world, with around 4 million refugees in the country, the majority from Syria. 2.1 million of these workers are of working age. Despite having the right to apply for work permits, Syrians are mostly employed informally in low-skilled sectors where there is little transparency and social protection. Child labour is a serious issue. According to recent official statistics from the Turkish Statistics Institute (“TÜİK”), 720,000 children between the ages of five and 17, which accounts for over four percent of all children within this age group, are working in Turkey. However, this number is almost certainly much higher as the official statistic doesn’t include Syrian refugees.
Supporting You in Turkey
The Centre has two employees in Turkey and our team has a particular strong competence on law and research, which has been translated to a number of innovative projects. We also have deep experience from working in both the agricultural sector and the garment industry in Turkey. To date, key areas of work have included child labour trainings for international retailers and their supply chains, child labour assessments and prevention in agricultural settings and young worker protection and inclusion. In 2020, The Centre has launched and adapted its family friendly workplaces services for Turkey’s manufacturing context. In addition, we are currently piloting innovative approaches to offer childcare support for agricultural workers in Turkey in the form of tent-based child friendly spaces. All of the services that The Centre offers are available in Turkey.
Browse Our Work in Turkey