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New actors of new poverty : the "other" children of Çukurova

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2007
Özbek, Ayşegül
This study aims to analyze the socio-economic characteristics, living and working conditions, educational profiles and the future expectations of the child workers, who have been living in tents for many years and working as agricultural workers at Karagöçer and Kapıköy areas of Tuzla Municipality (Karataş District) of Adana Province since the early 90s after having been forced to vacate their villages in Şırnak. Thesis tries to expose the poverty, deprivation and social exclusion experienced by families and children presently living in tents in Karagöçer and Kapıköy. It is also aimed at exposing the ways in which these people are deprived of their social and political rights as citizens. The main research question of the study is the motives behind the child labour observed in Karagöçer and Kapıköy. The study has found that the phenomenon of child labour in this area is the direct consequence of poverty, deprivation, social exclusion and denial of citizenship rights that these families had to face as a result of forced migration early in the 90s. Therefore, the study underlines, in conceptual terms, how their unfavourable circumstances lead to deep child poverty and consequently child labour and thesis also tries to bring attention to the children’s situation by referring to their families’ poverty, deprivation, social exclusion and lack of citizenship rights. In this respect, the theory section of the thesis focuses on the relation of child labour and child poverty within the conceptualization of new poverty, internal displacement (forced migration), social exclusion and citizenship rights. One of the main argument of this thesis is that children from Şırnak who work in fields in Tuzla constitutes a different category of child labour. Even though they are paid child workers working in the agricultural sector and they live like migrant seasonal agricultural workers, they are not, since they are settled in the region for a long time. Another important argument of the study is that families of these children after the evacuation of their village did not migrate to urban areas like most of the internally displaced people did but moved to rural areas. In this sense, they are also in disadvantaged condition compared to other internally displaced people since they can not benefit from many social services, which is easy to reach in urban settings. Therefore, this study makes clear that the children and their families examined in this study are the part of the worst form of poverty in Turkey.