6-year-olds work as seasonal agricultural laborers - Research
Even 6-year-olds are employed as seasonal agricultural laborers in Turkey's sout provinces, according to a recent research report.>
Çukurova Development Agency (ÇKA) has cooperated with İstanbul Bilgi University, Migration Research Center and Bernard Van Leer Foundation for a research on seasonal agricultural laborers. The results of the research revealed the living conditions of child laborers.
The subjects of the research, approximately four thousand persons, are thinking that there will be no improvements on their problems. The average age of the seasonal laborers was determined to be 21 and the rate of the population under five years to the general population is 14 percent. If the children aged between six to ten are involved, one of every three persons is under age 10 and every house has approximately four children.
Among the subjects, there are families that has never went back home in 20-25 years. An average agricultural laborer earn 40 liras per nine-hour work day.
According to the report 80 percent of the children are not getting preschool education. 29 percent can not go to school because of work. 64 percent of the children do not get any king of education. Seven percent of the children aged between six and ten are working on the fields.
At ages between 10 and 14this rate goes up to 52 percent on boys and 60 percent on girls. The rate of working children at ages between fifteen to eighteen is determined as 91 percent.
The average age of giving birth determined as 21 and rate of the girls giving birth younger than 15 is eight percent.
29 percent of the families lost one children and 66 percent of the children that lost their lives are younger than one year. 87 percent of the laborers have green cards.
The result of the report was evaluted by specialists as follows:
"There are seasonal agricultural laborers in Çukurova for years. At the time of harvesting, there are agricultural laborers coming to Çukurova, mostly from Şanlıurfa, for seasonal labor. In time, with domestic and foreign effects the source of the migration has changed and the need for agricultural laborers has expanded to whole year has shifted seasonal to permanent. The problems of the, now permanent, seasonal workers has passed from generation to generation and now are thought to be unsolveable and cause despair. People living here, especially the children, are having trouble accesing their inherent rights and live in constant danger. There are laborers that are younger than 18 years old in Çukurova. If we are to improve seasonal agricultural laborers life standards and make it permanent it will set an example for further improvements. We are aiming to find a solution that will be supported by both parties at the end."
Murat Kibritoğlu / Adana DHA