Syrian refugees have been identified as a distinct group that has suffered the most in economic terms during the Covid-19 pandemic, research in Turkey has revealed.
"According to our survey, the percentage of Syrian refugees in employment has fallen from 38 per cent to 29 per cent," explained the Director of the Turkish-German University's Migration and Integration Research Centre, Professor Murat Erdogan. "This means that a significant number of workers have lost their jobs."
He added that 80 per cent of Syrian children have kept away from education during pandemic. "Some of them do not have access to the internet, and others do not have mobile phones or tablets, and some cannot understand the language so they are unable to engage in the education system." The mechanisms to help them learn and understand are not in place for those who are not well-versed in Turkish, the professor pointed out.
Although there is no clear official data on the health status of Syrian refugees, he said, "The rate of Covid-19 infection is slightly lower than the average in Turkey."
The university's report also highlights the incidents of hate speech towards Syrian refugees in Turkey. Such racism, it explains, is prevalent among Turkish opposition parties and has been ongoing for months.