Syrian child refugees work in Turkish clothing factories

Syrian child refugees work in Turkish clothing factories

A British television show, Panorama, has shown that Syrian refugees - including many children - are working in Turkish clothing factories to create items for brands like Marks & Spencer and Asos.

"We do not tolerate this"

Not only Marks & Spencer and Asos are mentioned, Zara and Mango were part of Panorama's investigation as well. All four companies have claimed they keep a close eye on their suppliers and that they do not tolerate this type of behaviour. Marks & Spencer even adds that a previous study in the factories did not bring to light any issue.


An M&S spokesperson has already stated BBC's report is "extremely serious" and "unacceptable". "We do not tolerate such breaches of these principles and we will do all we can to ensure that this does not happen again", the spokesperson told BBC. The company also immediately offered a legal job for any adult Syrian working illegally in Turkey at this point. 


Low wages

Asos admits it had found eleven adult Syrians and three child refugees in a previous inspection and wants to help those people out financially. In another factory, which manufactures clothing for Zara and Mango, only Syrian adults were found, but no children. Zara says it had already found out prior to the Panorama report and that it had given the factory until December to resolve the situation.


The refugees work at the factories for extremely low wages and often for more than 12 hours every day. On top of that, they often have to deal with dangerous chemicals, harming their health in the process.