Syr­ian child refugees mak­ing Bri­tish clothes in Tur­key

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

Syr­ian refugee chil­dren have been work­ing in fac­to­ries in Tur­key mak­ing clothes for Bri­tish high street re­tailer Marks & Spencer and on­line store ASOS, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by BBC Panorama found.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion found Syr­ian refugees as young as 15 work­ing long hours for lit­tle pay, mak­ing and iron­ing clothes to be shipped off to Bri­tain.

BBC jour­nal­ists took pho­to­graphs of Marks & Spencer la­bels in the fac­to­ries. Some Syr­ian refugees worked 12-hour days in a fac­tory dis­tress­ing jeans for fash­ion brands Mango and Zara, us­ing chem­i­cals with in­ad­e­quate pro­tec­tion, the BBC said.

An M&S spokesper­son said, “We had pre­vi­ously found no ev­i­dence of Syr­ian work­ers em­ployed in fac­to­ries that sup­ply us, so we were very dis­ap­pointed by these find­ings, which are ex­tremely se­ri­ous and are un­ac­cept­able to M&S.”

An ASOS spokes­woman said, “It’s a sub­ject we take in­cred­i­bly se­ri­ously. But it would be wrong for us to com­ment on re­port­ing we haven’t seen.”

M&S said it was work­ing with the Turk­ish sup­plier to of­fer per­ma­nent le­gal em­ploy­ment to any Syr­ian daily work­ers em­ployed in the fac­tory. Tur­key has been a main en­try­point for refugees from the on­go­ing con­flict in Syria, with three mil­lion es­ti­mated to be liv­ing there.


Syr­ian refugee chil­dren play in an old to­bacco fac­tory build­ing now used as a refugee shel­ter in Yay­ladagi camp in Hatay prov­ince, Tur­key, on Oc­to­ber 15

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