Migrant Labour Exploitation at Increase, the Report Reveals

Birgün introduces the striking data on the migrant labour in Turkey as indicated by the report prepared by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) titled “Migrant Labour in our Country”.

Via Birgün – According to the “Migrant Labour in Our Country” report prepared by CHP (Republican People’s party) Labour Bureau, the majority of migrants, with Syrians at the first place, work irregularly, under heavy exploitative conditions, and dozens of them loose their lives in workplace homicides.

The report reveals that the the regulation prepared by the government on 2016 regarding the entitlement of work permit to migrant workers could not solve the problem. According to the data provided by the ministry, the numbers of work permits granted to migrants are: 17,466 in 2011; 32,729 in 2012; 45,825 in 2013; 52,295 in 2014; 64,521 in 2015;and 73,650 in 2016. Finally in 2017, the migrants who received the work permit have been 87 thousand. Among those who could obtain work permit throughout 2017, 20,970 are Syrian, 7,317 are Georgian, 6,360 are Khyrgyz, 5,761 are Ukrainian and 4,288 are Chinese citizens.

1 Million Syrians are irregular

The report indicates that only 20,970 Syrian citizen work under registration, yet around 1 million Syrians are working irregularly. Pointing out that the irregular labour force have reached at 34% in Turkey, the report emphasizes that the migrant labour constitutes a significant part in that.

1/5 of it is children under 15!

Another striking point in the report is the intensitiy of children within the irregular labour force. According to that, 20% of approximately 1 million Syrian migrants who take part in the irregular labour, meaning, one in every five Syrian irregular worker are children below 15 years old.

Daily wages around 20-25 TL

The report states that the highest salary a migrant worker who is registered would get is the minimum wage, which is 1604 TL. Those workers also do not have the right to establish a labour union. A high amount of migrant workers who are employed irregularly on the other hand, get only around 20-25 TL of daily wage.

Workplace homicides are in increase

The report also highlights the yearly increase in the workplace homicides for the migrant workers. The number of migrants who have lost their lives in work-related homicides are at least 22 in 2013; 53 in 2014; 67 in 2015; 100 in 2016; and 88 in 2017. Whereas in 2018, so far 90 migrant workers have lost their lives. Among those who died in workplace homicides, 65% are Syrian, 13% are Afghan, and the remaining 22% is from other countries. The sectors in which the workplace homicide rates have been highest are constuction and agriculture.


This article was originally published in Turkish by Birgün.