101,650 underage workers working in Turkey: Minister

101,650 underage workers working in Turkey: Minister

101,650 underage workers working in Turkey: Minister There are a total of 101,659 people under the age of 18 working across Turkey, Labor and Social Security Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said. 

Müezzinoğlu’s remarks came after Ömer Fethi Güler, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker from the Central Anatolian province of Niğde, asked questions about child labor. 

“As of November 2016, there are 101,650 workers under the age of 18, excluding apprentices, apprentice nominees and those receiving vocational education in businesses,” Müezzinoğlu said in a speech in parliament, daily Cumhuriyet reported on June 12. 

Gürer asked the minister whether there were any efforts to end child workers working over 40 hours a week, to which Müezzinoğlu replied by saying that necessary checks were being made. 

“Controls are planned by our ministry as those programmed and those out of program by our ministry. In the planned controls, the children and young workers are being determined as risk group of top priority. In 2016, a total of 24,284 controls were made, of which 9,650 were scheduled and 14,634 unscheduled. Administrative fines were imposed on businesses that violated the regulations,” he said. 

Gürer also asked about children who died as a result of work accidents in 2016.

“Some 32 children in 2012 and 56 children in 2016 died as a result of work murders. Are new regulations being developed when the increase is taken into account?” Gürer said, to which Müezzinoğlu noted that the inspections on the issue were ongoing.

Gürer also cited statistics from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), which said 78 percent of the children worked unregistered in 2016, asking whether there were measures taken against this. 

“Administrative fines were imposed on 95 businesses that violated the rules,”Müezzinoğlu said in return. 

Commenting on the minister’s replies, Gürer said they weren’t satisfactory and the issue of child workers remained among the most important issues that need a solution in Turkey.