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Press Centre (6/2017)

Children should be protected from child labour


On the World Day Against Child Labour, UNICEF released a short video to draw attention to the situation of children who are engaged in child labour in Turkey. The video focuses on a day in the life of Ibrahim, a 13 year old seasonal agricultural child worker from Sanliurfa.
 
Ankara, 12 June 2017 - On the World Day Against Child Labour, UNICEF released a short video to draw attention to the situation of children who are engaged in child labour in Turkey. The video focuses on a day in the life of Ibrahim, a 13 year old seasonal agricultural child worker from Sanliurfa.

Turkeyhas made tremendous progress on reducing the number of children engaged in labour since the early 1990s. However, an estimated 850.000 children remain engaged in child labour of whom400.000 Turkish children work in seasonal agriculture. Many of these children fail to attend school regularly.

In addition, as the Syrian conflict is now in its seventh year, it is observed that an increasing number of Syrian refugee children are falling into child labour. Field observations and available information show that Syrian children are involved in some of the worst forms of child labour through seasonal agriculture, small-medium enterprises (textile or shoe workshops or auto-mechanics), and working on the streets. 

Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative in Turkey said, “Child labour harms the mental, social, physical and psychological development of children. For little pay, children work long hours to contribute to their family income, often in close contact with toxic products and/or hazardous environments. This situation holds them back from going to school, spending time with peers, having opportunities for play and leisure. Children must be protected from abuse and neglect, they must not be robbed of their childhood”.
 
The story of Ibrahim depicts how the children are stripped from their childhood dreams. In his own words: “If I did not have to work here, I would spend more time at school. I would study more and I would become a teacher when I grow up”.
 
In Turkey, UNICEF works with governmental organizations and NGOs to combat child labour. This cooperation also includes socio-economic, psycho-social and educational support to children to reduce the negative impact on their development. Since 2015, as a result of these efforts, UNICEF and its partners have reached thousands of families with child workers.
 
Ibrahim’s story is available here https://youtu.be/sULJsVUoYHA
 

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For further information please contact:
Sema Hosta, Chief of Communication, UNICEF in Turkey shosta@unicef.org+90-312-454-1000
 
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org