Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) in Seasonal Hazelnut Agriculture in Turkey

The project aims to contribute to the elimination of the worst forms of child labour in seasonal agriculture in hazelnut harvesting in Turkey. The project in the Black Sea region of Turkey is being implemented jointly by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Turkey and the ILO.

Background and context of action

Turkey was one of the first six countries to participate to the International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) in 1992. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Turkey and the ILO was signed in 1992. The ensuing programme support delivered by ILO-IPEC, was formulated jointly with the Turkish Government in coherence with national policies and objectives. Since that time, Turkey has been highly effective in reducing incidences of child labour and has made impressive progress in ensuring children’s rights. In this regard, the National Time-Bound Policy and Programme Framework (TBPPF) which aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labour by 2015 has been developed in 2005 with the support of the ILO.

The progress has been maintained after phasing out of IPEC in Turkey in 2008 by the national ownership of Turkish Government, supportive role of the ILO and the steps taken in the light of TBPPF. The TBPPF identifies seasonal agricultural work, work in the informal urban economy, rural child labour, and street work as priority intervention areas. Although in decline, child labour in seasonal agricultural work is still a problem mainly due to lack of capacity to enforce minimum age requirements for work and ensure universal basic education. During peak work periods, children do not maintain regular school attendance and fall behind in their classes and are unable to make up for this when they return to school. For these reasons and as the children who engage in this type of work are very young, this sector was considered a priority. The very nature of seasonal agricultural work exposes families to all types of risks, to which children are the most vulnerable. For economic and social reasons, children of adult seasonal workers usually accompany their parents from place to place. As a result, children alongside their parents and other adults are found in work that is unsuitable for their age, in order to secure the subsistence of their families. Children engage in hard physical labour under working conditions that cannot be considered decent even for adults. They live in temporary settlement areas that mostly lack basic infrastructure and in conditions that are well below minimum standards.

Against this background and in compliance with the main objective of Time-Bound Policy and Programme Framework, the ILO and the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS) has been jointly initiated the project entitled “Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Hazelnut Harvesting in Ordu”. The project, co-funded by the Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, appears as the first ever public-private partnership project of the ILO Office for Turkey in action against child labour.

The project has been initialized in Central and Perşembe districts of Ordu province in 2013. Following a successful project period, the project site has been enlarged to Fatsa and Ünye districts of Ordu in 2014. Based on the lessons learnt, the project is prolonged with a new phase covering Sakarya, Düzce and Şanlıurfa provinces in addition to Ordu for the period of 2015-2017.

Development objective

The overall objective of this project is to contribute elimination of worst forms of child labour (WFCL) in seasonal agriculture in line with the TBPPF and the Government’s strategy drawn by the National Employment Strategy 2014-2023. The project aims to withdraw and/or prevent children from work in seasonal hazelnut agriculture in selected provinces of Ordu, Düzce and Sakarya through promotion of corporate social responsibility and capacity building of public institutions, local governments, Chambers of Agriculture and local NGOs in combating child labour; and develop monitoring models and partnerships including public/private partnerships (PPP) while contributing a sustainable policy making process at national level.


The project focuses on three outputs: capacity building, direct support and awareness-raising.
Output 1/Capacity Building: improvement in the capacity of local institutions in planning, managing, coordinating, monitoring and implementing activities for the elimination of WFCL in seasonal agriculture in hazelnut production

Output 2/Direct Support: establishment of an effective withdrawal and prevention mechanism for the WFCL in seasonal agriculture in hazelnut production and implementation of referred mechanism at the local level

Output 3/Awareness Raising: developing an awareness raising strategy and implementation towards general public, families, employers, intermediaries as well as the media.


The project is adapted to the national context, links with national institutions and operates in co-ordination with local networks and social groups to integrate national ownership as a strategy from the outset of the project. The main approach contributes to sustainability by:
  • involving key stakeholders in the implementation, thereby enhancing the potential for development;
  • undertaking a multi-sectoral approach by involving the government as a key partner in the entire planning and implementation process;
  • following a process-oriented implementation modality leading directly to a policy making/program approach for long-term, self-reliant, capacity building rather than on immediate short-term performance improvement;
  • strengthening local governance capabilities, democratic institutions, and enhancing the capacity for enforcing the rule of law.
The project will contribute to local and national ownership and commitment for the elimination of WFCL in seasonal agriculture through demonstrating a model for solution with necessary measures which would be incorporated national policy documents for sustainability.

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