Ending child labour - A national priority for Türkiye

On the World Day Against Child Labour, experts and practitioners discuss best practices to eliminate child labour in Türkiye

13 June 2022

ANKARA, 13 June 2022 – Eliminating child labour is an urgent national priority for Türkiye - this was the key message of today’s panel discussions organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and UNICEF Türkiye on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour.

Türkiye has made significant progress on reducing child labour during the last three decades. Still, according to TURKSTAT, there are 720,000 Turkish children, or 4.4% of all children aged 5-17, engaged in child labour in the service, agriculture, and industrial manufacturing sectors. This number does not include refugee children, who are largely involved in child labour, mainly due to poverty. Like in other countries, in Türkiye as well, economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as impact of other crises are aggravating the problem of child labour.

“All children have the right to be protected from performing any work that is likely to be harmful to their physical, mental, emotional and developmental well-being. UNICEF will continue to support Türkiye’s efforts to eliminate child labour and work closely with public and private sector to accelerate results”, said Regina de Dominicis, UNICEF Representative to Türkiye.

Within the scope of the National Program on the Elimination of Child Labour, the Government of Türkiye introduced Child Labour Elimination Units all over the country, in order to increase the effectiveness of the policies produced at the central level at the local level. The activities put forward at both central and local levels will continue to increase in the coming period with the main goal of ending child labour. Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Security Prof. Dr. Lutfihak ALPKAN said in his statement on the subject: "We will continue our efforts to do our best to ensure that our children, who are the guarantee of our future, can live their childhood, complete their education in the best way and grow up as good citizens for themselves, their families and our country."

During today’s panel discussions, representatives from the government, academia, civil society, and international organizations identified child poverty reduction and quality education of every child as essential for eliminating child labour. Changing social norms to make child labour socially unacceptable including in the private sector was also recognized as a priority.

Finally, participants in the panel discussions agreed that ensuring that every parent has adequate support to provide children with a decent living standard is needed, which is at the heart of the social and child protection system efforts.


For more information, please contact:

Tülay Güler, UNICEF Communication Officer, tguler@unicef.org +90 532 7737196

Media contacts

Sema Hosta
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Türkiye
Tel: + 90 312 454 10 10


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