Turkey: Child labour still exists in seasonal agriculture, despite govt. commitment to end it by 2015

Author: Recep Argunaga, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Published on: 14 March 2019

'Never-ending harvest: Child Labour in Turkey', 14 March 2019

[...] Turkey recognizes use of child labor in seasonal agriculture as one of the three worst forms of child labor, and made a commitment to the International Labor Organisation (ILO) to end it by 2015. Yet, according to a 2018 report, there may still be as many as 2 million children forced to work in Turkey.

Sadly, tackling the problem in Turkey may now be more challenging than ever. While global food prices are decreasing, Turkey is struggling with skyrocketing food prices. Between January 2017 and January 2018, food prices in Turkey increased 31 percent. In these circumstances, Turkish policymakers are unlikely to feel compelled to improve working conditions or earnings of agricultural workers, a move which could increase the cost of food further.

Families do not earn enough to break the cycle of poverty, even though some work for over 11 hours-a-day, 7 days a week. The only way to alleviate debt is to fully utilize the labor potential of the entire family, and to work for longer periods during the year. This means that the children have to work more in the field and are unable to go to school, deepening their disadvantages in the future. [...]

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