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The Making of a Lost Generation: Child Labor among Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Meltem Dayioglu, Murat Kırdar () and Ismet Koc ()
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Ismet Koc: Institute of Population Studies, Hacettepe University

Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers from Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum

Abstract: Millions of children are forcibly displaced around the world, making child labor a serious risk. However, little is known about this topic due to the difficulty of finding representative datasets for this population and information on child labor. In this study, we use a representative dataset on Syrian refugees in Turkey, the largest refugee group in any single country, to examine the incidence of child labor and its determinants. The incidence of paid work is remarkably high among boys: 17.4% of 12-14 year-olds and 45.1% of 15-17 year-olds are in paid employment. We find that paid work is positively associated with poverty, proficiency in Turkish, living in an industrialized region in Turkey, originating from rural areas in Syria and living in a household with a young, female, or less-educated head. Family composition matters more for girls’ employment than boys’. Boys’ (girls’) employment increases if their father (mother) is alive – suggesting network effects. Being older at arrival is highly associated with child labor, indicating that difficulty with school integration drives children into employment.

Keywords: child labor; forced displacement; Syrian refugees; paid work; migrants; Turkey. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J15 J61 O15 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2021-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara, nep-lab and nep-mig
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