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55 MEPs denounce Turkey’s failure to protect and grant decent standard of living to refugees

An initiative of GUE/NGL MEP, Barbara Spinelli, the letter is addressed to First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans; High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini; European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska; and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

“Thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey are living in extreme poverty, outside camps without any kind of socioeconomic support,” the Italian MEP explains.

“Only 15 per cent of Syrian children in Turkey go to school and additional children are not accepted due to lack of resources.

“Thousands of Syrian children aged between 8 and 13 years have been found to be working in textiles factories in Gaziantep and many other Turkish towns. They work in painful conditions, in close contact with a wide range of toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances such as hydrochloric acid. Their bodies show marks of exploitation and severe physical ill-treatment.  

“The Turkish government cannot protect the rights and the interests of refugees and, more specifically, of refugee children. We call for an end to the return of refugees to Turkey because it clearly cannot be considered a safe country for them,” Spinelli concludes.

 

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