Syrian refugees: Abuse & exploitation in Turkish garment factories

An estimated 650,000 Syrian refugees (numbers continue to rise) have fled their home country to escape bloodshed and have found a lifeline working in Turkey, with many working in the garment industry. Without these jobs, many families would face desperate times and would struggle to support themselves. However, the garment industry in Turkey is complex and exploitative conditions are too common. Since 2015, reports and investigations have exposed poor wages, discrimination, and child labour by Syrian refugees working in the Turkish garment industry.

Since February 2016 we have released three reports analysing brands' action to tackle this abuse based on their responses to survey questions we devised with the help of unions, refugee and worker organisations.  In July and August 2017 we visited Turkey to assess recent developments and speak to people on the ground.  Our reports can be accessed on the left.

Below is a collection of the latest news and resources on this important issue.

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31 January 2015

FWF Guidance for Affiliates: Risks related to Turkish garment factories employing Syrian refugees February 2015

Author: Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)

Since the start of fighting in Syria in 2011, it is estimated that 1.6 million refugees have escaped to Turkey. There is currently only space for 220,000 people in formal refugee camps in Turkey, and while the Turkish government has been widely...

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1 March 2014

Syrian women refugees humiliated, exploited in Turkey

Author: Brender Stoter, Syria Pulse

A few months ago, Dima found a job in a cotton factory in Reyhanli, a Turkish town near the border with Syria. In the first few weeks, everything went fine — until her Turkish boss, a middle-aged widower, began to sexually harass her. “I told him I...

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