Amateur – María García Zornoza
Title: De la guerra en Siria a trabajar con 13 años en Turquía (ES, original) - A 13-year-old flees the war in Syria to work in Turkey (EN translation)
Published on 21 June 2016 in El Diaro
In this written article, Maria Zornorsa discusses the conditions faced by Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey because of the war. Mohamed and Hasan, like many children from Aleppo, have been displaced because of the war that is raging in Syria. Mohamed, a boy of only 13 years who is now orphaned, fled Aleppo by himself to go to Turkey, where he could continue to work as a tailor. Now in Turkey completely alone, Mohamed works in a factory 12 hours a day seven days a week, and yet only makes around 25 euros a month. Many other children lead similarly lonely lives, where they are often victims of organized crime. Many must sell items on the street to try and provide for themselves. Many Syrians don't live in refugee camps, and are not permitted to work in Turkey, marking them as second-class citizens. Therefore, it is so easy to exploit them. Schooling is not an option for a large chunk of the population, either, due to the extreme hours many are forced to work. Only 1 in 3 Turkish children are currently enrolled in class.
Some help has been provided, in the form of European relief for refugee camps, placing emphasis on better healthcare, education, and food for refugees. Turkey will house many of the refugees in return for 3,000 million euros and other privileges, including extra funds for Turkish authorities and expedited EU membership.
María García Zornoza graduated with a Journalism Degree in 2016 from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She also studied at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands for one year with an Erasmus+ scholarship and spent six months at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel on a grant. She has been an intern for the leaders for Spanish media, namely Europa Press news agency and El Mundo newspaper. In her early 20s, she also collaborated with her home university's newspaper 'Infoactualidad' from Netherlands, Israel and Palestine.
In 2016, García Zornoza was able to travel Gaziantep, located on the Syrian-Turkish border, to help refugees with the European Voluntary Service program of Erasmus+. During that time, she was working as a freelance journalist covering what refugees were going through for the Spanish website Eldiario.es. These days, García Zornoza has another scholarship to work in Brussels at Aquí Europa, a Spanish newspaper which covers European issues. Fighting poverty and inequality through journalism is her dream.
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Professional – Peter Lykke Lind
Title: Madagascar's £152m vanilla industry soured by child labour and poverty
Published on 12 August 2016 in the Guardian
Lind writes in this article about the realities of child labour in Madagascar, the world's biggest producers of vanilla. The farmers who grow the vanilla often get poor prices on the pods they grow which results in the exploitation of the farm hands, malnutrition, and rampant child labour.
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, usually priced between 200$ and 400$ a kilo. However, many of the workers make just 6 pounds on their whole lot of vanilla pods, which they sell to the "collectors", young men who come to the villages to buy the pods after the harvest. Many families take out dangerous loans with these "collectors" during the wet months when there is no vanilla to sell, agreeing to "vanilla flower" contracts, essentially having to pay interest on those loans by way of selling their pods for less when the harvest next arrives. If the harvest is bad, many families must sell land, animals and prized possessions just to stay afloat.
Though the country has ratified child labour laws that put the minimum working age at 15, International Labour Organisation has reported that 2 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 have worked on the island. There have been attempts by the Madagascan authorities to regulate the vanilla trade, but life has been largely unchanged for many farming families.
Since graduating from City University in London, Danish journalist Peter Lykke Lind has covered elections, human rights issues, climate change and migration in Africa and Latin America. He has reported for, among others BBC, the Guardian, Time Magazine, Sunday Times, The Independent, Al Jazeera, VICE News and Monocle.
A current affairs generalist with an investigative nature, some of his most praised work includes his investigation of the vanilla industry in Madagascar, human rights violations of homosexuals in Uganda, as well as his series and photo essays on the South Sudanese refugee crisis.
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