ILO praises Turkey for issuing work permits to Syrians

International Labour Organisation praises Turkish government’s recent decision to issue work permits for Syrian refugees staying in country

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Mahamet, a 17-year-old Syrian boy from Azaz works as a translator at a jewellery shop , waiting for customers in the Turkish province of Kilis on the Turkey-Syria border on March 18, 2014

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Turkey has welcomed the Turkish government's decision to issue work permits for refugees, according to a statement released on its official website on Tuesday.

On Jan. 15, the Turkish Government passed a law allowing many of the 2.5 million Syrian refugees, who have officially been registered under temporary protection in the country, to apply for work permits.

According to the new law, Syrians who have been in Turkey for at least six months will be allowed to apply work permits in the province where they first registered as refugees. With permits, they would have to be paid at least a minimum wage by Turkish employers.

“This will help move refugees to the formal economy, enabling them to build a decent life for their families and give them an opportunity to contribute to our society," Numan Ozcan, director of the ILO office in Turkey, said.

"Legal and formal work of refugees will lead to improved working conditions, allow social protection, and will benefit not only the refugees themselves but also labour markets and the economy,"  Ozcan pointed out.

Ozcan also stated that “The ILO stands ready to assist the government and social partners to turn this step into an opportunity for decent work and decent life for refugees and host communities.”

Syrian refugees, escaping the violence in their country, fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012.

One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world, according to the United Nations registration records.

Turkey has reportedly spent more than a record $8 billion of its own resources on the refugees.

The Syrian civil war has claimed more than 260,000 lives and turned the country into the world's largest source of refugees and displaced persons.

TRTWorld, AA