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Report of the fact-finding mission to Turkey by Ambassador Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees, 30 May – 4 June 2016

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Migrant children and refugees living precariously outside camps

Action needed to tackle child labour, encourage school attendance and improve the precarious living conditions of those outside refugee camps in Turkey

“The Council of Europe should assist the Turkish authorities to develop effective policies to prevent refugee and migrant children working and to encourage their attendance at school”, says the Secretary General’s Special Representative on migration and refugees Ambassador Tomáš Boček in a report published today. He also called for the Council of Europe to work with the Turkish authorities to help improve the precarious living conditions of the millions of refugees outside camps, in particular by making it easier for those of working-age to access the labour market.

The Turkish authorities are to be commended for the significant efforts that they have made so far: Turkey is host to the world’s largest refugee population, 3.1 million, of whom around 2.75 million are Syrian. At the same time, there is room for Council of Europe support to enable Turkey to continue managing the refugee situation in compliance with the human rights standards of the Organisation, the report underlines.

Between 30 May and 4 June 2016 the Special Representative carried out field visits in and around Istanbul and visited removal centres and camps in Eastern Thrace, South-East Turkey and the Aegean coast. He also met representatives of the relevant Turkish authorities, INGOs and NGOs working with migrants and refugees