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31 Aug 2014

Constanze Letsch, Guardian (UK)

Turkey: Syrian refugees trigger child labour boom in Turkey

Thousands of young refugees are missing out on school to support families left destitute after fleeing the fighting in Syria... According to the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), about half the million Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey are children. Whereas more than 60% of children in refugee camps are enrolled in school, 73% of those outside the camps – the overwhelming majority of refugees – do not go to school. A recent Unicef report estimates that one in 10 Syrian refugee children is working – in agriculture, restaurants and shops, as mobile vendors or begging on the street."There is a massive increase in child labour here. It didn't used to be that way. The authorities try to fight against it, but in many cases families have little choice," said a Turkish human rights activist who wished to remain anonymous.