Turkish textile association refutes claims over ‘employment of Syrian children in factories’
CİHAN photoThe head of the Istanbul Readymade Clothing and Confection Exporters’ Association (İHKİB) has denied reports claiming the employment of Syrian refugee children in factories operated by two leading European brands in Turkey.
“It is impossible legally in Turkey to hire child labor. Besides, H&M and Next will never accept such production [practices],” the İHKİB’s Hikmet Tanrıverdi said in a written statement on Feb. 1.
Britain’s Independent claimed H&M and Next admitted to identifying child labor in supplier factories in Turkey yesterday. After an effort to gauge the scale of the problem, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) had asked 28 major brands last month about their Turkish suppliers and their strategies for combating the exploitation of Syrian children and adults.
“We are ready to accept observers at each of our 14,000 exporters. I strongly condemn such reports that aim to harm our sector by throwing mud at us,” added Tanrıverdi.
H&M has, however, said in a written statement on Feb. 1 one such case was detected in 2015 and terminated the business contract.
“In the report issued by BHRRC, we state that we identified one case of Syrian child labor in an embroidery factory in Turkey during 2015, and we terminated this business relationship immediately. We then informed our NGO partner to get their support on the remediation activities,” said the company.