child-labor-is-unacceptable Based on data from the Statistics Institute of Turkey (TÜİK), there are 22.8 million children in Turkey. With the addition of 1.7 million refugee children, the number of children in Turkey reaches 24.5 million.


Based on data from the Statistics Institute of Turkey (TÜİK), there are 22.8 million children in Turkey.  With the addition of 1.7 million refugee children, the number of children in Turkey reaches 24.5 million.

We must provide better living conditions for all our children beginning with right to life, health and education.  Yet, according to TÜİK, in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone 720 thousand children between the ages of 5-17, not including refugee children, were made to work. 

• The number of children that work at seasonal agricultural jobs is 400 thousand.

ILO (International Labor Organization) Agreement Number 182 and Recommendation Decision Number 190 indicate the worst kinds of child labor in Turkey as:

• Work on the streets 
• Working at heavy and dangerous jobs in small and mid-sized operations 
• Working as migrant or temporary agricultural workersfor a pay other than in the family compound

Turkey proclaimed to end heavy and dangerous child labor by 2015 and later extended the date to 2023.

​Our children are deprived of their basic rights when they are made to work and 41\% of them work in agriculture, 28 \% in industry, \%21 in commerce and 10 \% in service sectors. Most of the work is heavy and dangerous work that children should never be involved in.

Ministries of Family, Work and Social Services and Education must maintain big responsibility on the matter.

Recently a news item posted from the office of the Minister of Education Mr. Ziya Selçuk was that “he exchanged books for tomatoes and asked for teachers to visit the children who work in agriculture” and this was relayed as sensational news.


Means great risk of harm on the mental, physical, social and emotional development of children,

Exposes to verbal and physical violence, neglect, exploitation and abuse,

Imposes responsibilities on children that they can’t bear,

Takes away their right to development and right to life,

Disrupts their education,

Damages their health.

Forced child labor should be defined as any work that robs children of their childhood, their potential for a future and human dignity.

Turkey, with its national legislation and with the Agreement on Child Rights and other international agreements and documents it has signed, has accepted and pledged to end child labor, to never have children workbefore the age of 15 and to end placing children between 15-17 in heavy and dangerous jobs.

The 50th article of the Constitution of the Republic decrees that “no one can be made to do work that is not compatible with their sex or strength. Minors and women; people with physical and psychological handicap are specifically protected regarding work conditions.

The above mentioned news clip relayed in the name of the Minister points exactly at children facing infringement of their rights.

The prioritized and urgent duty of public administrators should be to prevent children from being made to work and foremost in seasonal agricultural jobs.

Child labor must be prevented.

Child labor must be refused categorically.

Making children work damages their fundamental rights and subjects them to all kinds of neglect and exploitation.

The Association for Supporting Contemporary Life declares child labor as unacceptable and invites administrators to do the right thing that is expected of them on the matter.