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Syrian Refugees Working in Turkey

Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The civil war and humanitarian crisis in Syria has, since the middle of 2011, resulted in the mass relocation of refugees into neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey.  While the precise number of Syrian refugees settled in Turkey remains unclear, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that as of September 29, 2014, it had registered more than 1,029,500 Syrian refugees in Turkey. The Turkish Interior Ministry estimates that the number is probably closer to 1.35 million, with a minority remaining in the refugee camps near the border, though a massive late-September influx of refugees suddenly increased the population in the camps.  Read the full issue brief below.

UPDATE, NOV. 2014:  In response to a request from the government of Turkey for guidance on this issue, the FLA submitted the letter posted below.

UPDATE, MAR. 2015:  A document explaining the outcomes of a roundtable meeting organized by the FLA and ETI on March 6, 2015 is also posted below.

UPDATE, JAN. 2016:  As of January 15, 2016, the government of Turkey has published a new "Regulation on Work Permits for Foreigners Under Temporary Protection," providing access for Syrian refugees in Turkey to apply for work permits. Here are links to English, Arabic, and Turkish translations of the new law.  

UPDATE, APR. 2016:  The FLA, affiliated companies, and other allies published a booklet of resources for Syrian refugees seeking employment in Turkey.  Our booklet (posted below in Arabic and Turkish) explains the steps to obtain work permits, and provides guidance on topics like minimum working age and minimum wage, the Turkish social security system, the right to refuse unsafe working conditions, and other aspects of national labor law. The guidance will be distributed through the Turkish Ministry of Labor offices in many manufacturing cities across the country.

UPDATE, OCT. 2016:  The FLA and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Turkey have published pamphlets on the risk of child labor in the Turkish ready-made garment and apparel industry, including guidance on the employment of young workers (older than 15 and younger than 18), and the fines associated with various violations of national law related to child labor and young workers.  Brochures in Turkish, English, and Arabic appear below.

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