‘Child survivors of Van quake forced to work at state facilities’

May 17, 2012, Thursday/ 15:48:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy has claimed that children who were provided with accommodation in Malatya's Öğretmen Evi (Teachers' Lodge) after their homes collapsed in an earthquake that hit Van province on Oct. 23 of last year are being forced to work.

The Radikal daily reported on Thursday that BDP Van deputy Nazmi Gür, who recently sent a letter to Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Şahin and Education Minister Ömer Dinçer to inform them of the case, has claimed that children of families made homeless by the earthquake and accommodated in the Teacher's Lodge in Malatya province are allegedly being forced to work by the administration of the Teachers' Lodge in various occupations such as distributing food and drinks at wedding ceremonies held at the hall there and cleaning.

Deputy Gür requested the two ministers launch legal action against officials who are forcing these children to work.

In the letter Gür stated that it is not justifiable to make children who have already gone through the shock of losing their loved ones as well as their homes work in a public building where they were accommodated by the state. Noting that these children are living there as guests, Gür said in his letter that forcing children to work at times when they are supposed to study and sleep was beyond any reasonable thought or understanding. Gür also noted that he could not understand how children who are under the protection of the state can be made to work and asked in the letter whether the Malatya governor was aware of the incident.

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