Translated from Yeni Yaşam
Child labour in Turkey continues to be both an international and domestic concern in the country. Despite efforts to establish policies to eradicate child labour and protect the interests of children, child labour problems persist.
Turkey made a commitment to the International Labour Organization (ILO) that it would put an end to child labour by 2015. However, the number of child labourers actually increased in 2018.
Psychologist Gülşen Kılıçarslan emphasized the detrimental impacts such labour has had on children. She added that the research on this subject is still inadequate and superficial.
According to the Turkish Statistics Institute’s (TUİK’s) 2019 “Child Labour Survey”, the number of children in the 5-17 age group in the country is estimated at 16,457,000. “Child labourers” number 720,000.
Kılıçarslan stated that children collect paper, sell water, do shoe-shining in public places and also work in various industries. “Children are forced to work due to poverty. Children are also exposed to verbal and physical abuse in the fields that they work in. In addition, they are exposed to insults and humiliation”, she added.
She also suggested that the state should establish policies regarding children who have to work and emphasized the necessity of thinking about children from every angle. Impoverishment, she noted, must be addesssed and society must organize around this issue.