Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Şahin said there are at least 1 million child laborers in Turkey, in response to a parliamentary question from Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Kadir Gökmen Öğüt, the Taraf daily reported on Wednesday.
Emphasizing that the most recent statistics on child laborers in Turkey date back to 2006 and that at that time the research indicated that there were nearly 1 million children in the workforce, Şahin noted that the number must have exceeded 1 million today.
In response to another question from the deputy asking for the number of children who have been subjected to sexual abuse in the past decade, Şahin said the ministry has been recording figures since 2007 and that a total of 29,988 sexual abuse complaints have been filed with the police in that time.
In the southern province of Adana, a group of children held a rally on Nov. 19 to highlight the problems children face as part of Turkey's recognition of International Children's Rights Day on Tuesday. They carried banners and chanted slogans against the violation of their rights and voiced their demands for a better future.