‚In 2014, the Turkish government gave Syrian refugees permission to attend Turkish schools, and later funded some Arabic-speaking schools as well. Two years later however, government statistics indicate only a small minority have enrolled.
Boys make up the majority of the estimated 400,000 Syrian children out of school in Turkey, but girls are also working in jobs, researchers say, even though their dangers are greater. Girls risk sexual harassment, abuse and rape, with families taking the blame for risking their daughter’s honor by allowing the girls out of the house. For that reason, girls are often placed in employment that takes place out of the public eye. “There are girls working in textile workshops where they never see the light of day,” said Dr. Ayhan Kaya, a professor at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, who recently did a study of refugee children working in Turkey. “Girls are exposed to sexual harassment and violence in these workshops and because their Turkish is limited they have limited knowledge of their legal rights.”