According to soL international, the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) protested child labour in front of the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Social Security Institution on January 5. TKP already launched a widespread campaign at the end of 2017, "Child labour must be prohibited". The recent protest came after the Ministry of Labour and Social Security declared 2018 as "the year of fighting against child labour".
Revealing the hypocritical stance of the ministry, the TKP members read a press release during the protest. The leaflet also pointed out that the government-imposed workers’ wages are far below the poverty line in the country.
TKP: '2 MILLION CHILDREN FORCED TO WORK IN TURKEY'
"168 millions of child workers are forced to work in the world, in addition to a nearly 800 thousand according to official data. However, it is actually almost 2 million children in Turkey" the statement said, adding that the child workers are everywhere from shopping malls to the textile industry and constructions sites.
The statement reminded the official data, according to which, 127 children were killed in 12 years between 2002 and 2014. However, the Workers’ Health and Work Safety Assembly states that at least 300 children were killed as a result of occupational murders in the last 5 years. “Of course, we do not think that such a ministry that lies and falsifies the figures would struggle against child labour,” the TKP statement added.
THE ROLE OF THE EU AND FAMOUS TRADEMARKS IN EXPLOITATION
TKP pointed out at the role of the European Union in the exploitation of children in Turkey. “Due to the readmission agreement regarding refugees signed between the EU and Turkey, refugee children have been forced to work in agriculture and industry,” the leaflet pointed out.
Emphasizing that many worldwide textile brands abuse child force, the statement reminded that such trademarks as Marks & Spencer, Asos, Zara and Mango are known to force Syrian refugee children to work in their branches in Turkey.
TKP also indicated to the role of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). As part of the government-led Islamist social transformation in Turkey, many schools have been turned into religious İmam Hatip schools, violating the children's right to have a secular education.
"Those who abolished the secular education have no right to talk about child labour. Only those who struggle for secular education and the bright future of country have a voice in the struggle against child labour," the TKP statement said.
Saying that they are dedicated to finding a new country where children will live in an egalitarian, peaceful and free society without any exploitation, the TKP members concluded: "Long live the equal, free and bright future of our country!"