26 child labourers died in Turkey in first five months of 2019 - report

At least 26 child labourers have lost their lives in the first five months of 2019 in Turkey, a slight drop from last year, according to an organisation that tracks work-related incidents in the country.

The Workers’ Health and Work Safety Assembly (ISIG) released a report on Tuesday in advance of the June 12 World Day Against Child Labour.

"Though there are only labour force statistics on children between the ages of 15 and 17, the number of child workers grew to 7,000 in 2018. Though it was declared the 'Year for Struggle Against Child Labour', 2018 became the year when the highest number of children were killed at the workplace," the report said.

The Turkish government has stated its intention to end child labour, but this has not been reflected in reality, according to the report.

One of the reasons for the extent of child labour in Turkey is state policies, as well as a lack of inspection and a policy of impunity, the report said.

Four of the 26 children were migrants and another four were girls exploited in agricultural work, especially as unpaid family workers, it said.

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said in its annual report released in April that the employment participation rate for children reached 21.1 percent last year, with a 0.8 points increase compared to the previous year.