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29 Jul 2019

The Price You Pay: How Purchasing Practices Harm Turkey's Garment Workers

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Briefing note by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, July 2019

Read the report

Our 2016 and 2017 surveys and reports on Syrian refugees in Turkish supply chains are available here.

Exploitation and abuse of Syrian refugees who make ‘fast fashion’ for the high streets of Paris, London and Berlin continues, despite three years of revelations.

This report explains the root causes that drive this abuse through the voice of the manufacturers of the clothes. Without systemic action by the European clothing brands to tackle these motors of mistreatment, harm will grow, and the mendacity of social audits that conceal abuse in supply chains will continue.

Numerous reports have documented the poor working conditions Syrian refugees endure in Turkey including, discriminatory wages far below the legal minimum, child labour, sexual harassment and other abuse. Our analysis has demonstrated that while a small but growing group of brands are taking proactive steps to tackle exploitation, the majority are still failing to take steps to prevent abuse, particularly beyond their first-tier suppliers.

This report follows three prior briefings on Syrian refugees in Turkish garment supply chains. In our past briefings, we focused on analysing company action to address allegations of serious exploitation and abuse. This time we look into brands’ purchasing practices as an underlying cause of exploitation.