Child labour increases in Turkey’s ‘year against child labour’

The child labour in Turkey rose to 21.1 percent in 2018 with a 0.8-point increase from the previous year, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) on Thursday.

The increase in child labour happened, despite Turkey promising to step up efforts to fight against systematic victimisation of children by declaring 2018  the “year of the battle against child labour” .

The employment participation rate was 30 percent for boys, increasing from 28.5 percent in 2017, and 11.8 percent for girls, the same as the previous year, TurkStat said.

According to the TurkStat statistics on education, net schooling rate for the children who are at the primary school age remains the same as 2017 at 91.5 percent in the 2017/2018-education period.

The main cause of failure in decreasing child labour in Turkey is the government’s education policy, according to the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK).

“Opening vocational schools in the industrial zones is an invitation for child labour,” the union’s statement said last year. Families are also pushing their children to work to help the family or to develop skills, according to the DISK.

DISK said there are 2 million child workers in Turkey, though according the official figures in 2017, the number is 800,000.