STRUGGLE AGAINST CHILD LABOR ON PARLIAMENTARY AGENDA: ‘Legislation Should be Put into Effect, Inspections Should be Effectively Conducted’

* Photographs (from left to right): Ebrü Günay, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu

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Today is June 12 World Day Against Child Labor. On this occasion, child labor in Turkey has been brought into parliamentary agenda.

Accordingly, while Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mardin MP Ebrü Günay has requested parliamentary investigation into the issue, HDP Kocaeli MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu has shared statistics on child labor at Parliament.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu has also released a statement on child labor.

Günay: The main reason is poverty

Underlining that the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) released its latest statistics on child labor in 2012, HDP Mardin MP Ebrü Günay has stated that the current number of child workers in Turkey is not known.

CLICK – TurkStat Didn’t Conduct Child Labor Survey For Seven Years

“According to unofficial figures, there are over two million child workers in Turkey. While the rate of labor force participation among children in the age group of 15-17 was 20.3 percent, this rate increased to 21.1 percent in 2018”, Günay has indicated further.

Referring to poverty as the main reason of increasing child labor in Turkey, Günay has requested a parliamentary investigation into the issue so that the necessary precautions could be taken, inspections could be effectively conducted and the related legislation and regulations could be updated and put into effect for the prevention of child labor.

Gergerlioğlu: Only 416 violations detected

Speaking at the Parliamentary session on the occasion of World Day Against Child Labor, HDP Kocaeli MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu has shared statistics released by the Laborers’ Health and Occupational Safety (İSİG) Assembly and reminded his audience that at least 26 child workers lost their lives in occupational homicides in the first five months of 2019.

CLICK – At Least 26 Child Workers Die in First Five Months of 2019

“The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services detected violations of child labor only at 416 workplaces over the last nine years since 2010; this figure is a scandal,” Gergerlioğlu has further underlined in his speech.

Tanrıkulu: Child labor should be banned

CHP İstanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu has also released a statement against child labor. Referring to the “Our Children and Truths” report by Education Union (Eğitim-Sen), Tanrıkulu has stated the following:

“According to the report, the number of child workers is almost two million as of 2018. The number of child workers in the age group of 15-17 in Turkey, which was 601 thousand in 2012, reached 709 thousand in 2016.

“The necessary measures should be taken to prevent illegal child labor, inspections should be effectively and strictly conducted, related legislations should be put into effect and child labor should be banned.” (AÖ/SD)