Turkey Exploiting Syrian Refugee Adults and Children

Turkey Exploiting Syrian Refugee Adults and Children

by Stephen Lendman

Erdogan’s rap sheet includes deplorable high crimes, including wars of aggression, support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, internal repression, and human exploitation, notably Syrian refugee adults and children, ruthlessly exploited for profit.

A new Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (B&HRRC) report discussed Turkish exploitation of Syrian children and adults – producing garments for large European retailers, H&M and Next specifically named.

Information discovered may be the tip of the iceberg, unknown numbers of European (and perhaps American) companies involved, wanting their illicit activities suppressed.

B&HRRC estimates from 250,000 to 400,000 Syrian refugees exploited in Turkey, Europe’s third largest clothing supplier after China and Bangladesh.

According to B&HRRC, “(o)nly a few brands appear to have engaged with the extent and the complexity of these issues in their Turkish supply base. Even fewer report taking action to protect these vulnerable workers” – ruthlessly exploited for profit, a form of illicit human trafficking, one of Erdogan’s many high crimes.

Turkey’s textile industry is largely unregulated, an estimated 60% of its workforce unregistered, working for sub-poverty wages and no benefits, Syrian refugee adults and children easily exploited for profit.

B&HRRC sent a questionnaire to 28 major clothing retailers, requesting information on their suppliers, as well as whether they’re protecting Syrian refugees from exploitation and abuse. Responses will be published later this month.

Young children work up to 60 hours weekly, earning 600 Turkish lira monthly (less than $200), unable to go to school because of work.

No official figures on Turkey’s informal, unregistered Syrian refugee labor force exist. Almost 2.3 million refugees are registered, 9% in refugee camps, others on their own with no state aid, struggling daily to survive.

A separate Human Rights Watch report called child labor exploitation in Turkey “rampant,” Syrian children especially vulnerable, hugely abused.

An earlier National Labor Committee (NLC) statement said “(t)ransnational corporations roam the world to find the cheapest and most vulnerable workers” – exploiting them as serfs under deplorable conditions, their rights denied, their dignity ignored.

Women aged 15 – 25 are especially vulnerable, Syrian refugees of both genders and all ages easily exploited.

State-permitted sweatshop conditions exist in many third world and developing countries, Turkey a notorious example, a hugely repressive police state, profiting from human misery.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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