Human trafficking and child labour both featured on the agenda during continued discussions regarding the north’s 2024 ‘state’ budget on Monday.

The matters were raised during the debate on the ‘labour ministry’s’ budget, with independent ‘MP’ Jale Refik Rogers using her speech to say that both human trafficking and people smuggling are on the rise.

To combat the problem, she said, the ‘government’ should keep closer tabs on third country nationals who enter the north with prior attained visas and added that those coming to the north to work should receive brochures clearly setting out their rights.

She also asked ‘labour minister’ Sadik Gardiyanoglu if his ‘ministry’ is carrying out any investigations into the agencies which bring people to the north and the practices they use.

Meanwhile, opposition party CTP ‘MP’ Sila Usar Incirli brought up the matter of child labour, describing it as a “serious problem” in the north.

She added that “children are being left behind because they work”, and called on the government to create a plan to end child labour in the north.

While Gardiyanoglu did not address the issues at hand directly in his speech, he did point out the “low” number of legal staff working at his ministry, and that he was working to rectify this with the aim of passing new and more effective legislation.

Rogers’ and Incirli’s interventions come a month after a report by the north’s Human Rights Platform (IHP) declared the north “falls short” on implementing its obligations regarding the prevention of human trafficking.

The report had said, “although the authorities have been made aware of the trafficking trends, potential venues, and risky sectors, they have not introduced any measures to prevent human trafficking cases.”

It added, “there are no research, awareness raising or educational programmes.”