Good agricultural practices, good hazelnut that excludes child labour is not a dream, as so to become a doctor or teacher

Classrooms are set and students are registered at Uzunisa Social support centre. As the hazelnut harvest goes on with thousands of workers Teachers of “Integrated Model for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey Project.” payed a visit to head of Altınordu Chamber of Agriculture Uğur Cörüt to elaborate on combatting child labour in Ordu Province.

News | 20 August 2015

Head of Altınordu Chamber of Agriculture Uğur Cörüt referring to “Good Agricultural Practices” -a certificate program by Ministry of Agriculture- he indicated that model hazelnut gardens are being established, saying, “Good Agricultural practice focuses on good crop with modern farming techniques. We monitor and support the farmer through garden maintenance to harvest for certification. We are giving technical support and inspecting the gardens regularly to enable a traceable product. Producers that have the Good Agricultural Practices certificate are easily finding customers for export. I think that the producers who don’t have this certificate will have difficulties in marketing their product in near future. Our organisation has very close relationship with the producers therefore we do regular warnings to the producers in terms of child labour and provide them with information.”

Mustafa Arık, Ordu
Mustafa Arık was using hearsay techniques before becoming a Good Agriculture producer. “ We have found out that we are all doing it wrong. We have better yield now.” said Arık also emphasized that no one should allow child labour in hazelnut gardens which brings a bad reputation for hazelnut.

Meeting with the head of Altınordu Chamber of Agriculture Uğur Cörüt resulted with the agreement to work together to establish active support of the producers for social support centres of the project

Children’s dream and access to education

Fatma (13), Yasemin (15) Müslüm (12) ve Mehmet (11), Uzunisa Social Support Centre
Fatma (13), Yasemin (15) Müslüm (12) and Mehmet (11) shouted “Take our picture too” and posed at the entrance of Uzunisa Social Support Centre. Mehmet starts the conversation. “Our home is like a zoo” he says. “We have gooses, ducks, turkeys, sheep, goats, rabbits and a hawk. I want to be a vet when I grow up.” Yasemin interrupts Mehmet “I want to become a doctor.” Fatma has not decided whether to be teacher or lawyer.

Teacher Ömer Dede stated that these wishes only may come true if they get a good education and continued “These children are on the move when they need to be at school. It is crucial that they get uninterrupted education. We witness that quality of the hazelnut is increasing with the good agricultural practices meanwhile we need to increase the quality of education and conditions for these children in the seasonal agricultural work by reinforcing public, private sector and producer cooperation and expand the project to other agriculture products.”

The overall objective of this project is to contribute elimination of worst forms of child labour (WFCL) in seasonal agriculture in line with the Turkish Government’s strategy drawn by the National Employment Strategy 2014-2023. A model has been developed through the Dutch Government and CAOBISCO* funded “Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Commercial Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Ordu” project 2013 and 2014. The project aims contributing to the withdrawal of children from work and prevention of at-risk children to be engaged in seasonal hazelnut agriculture. It will bring added value through the replication of the strategic intervention model in the different regions and contribute to a sustainable child labour monitoring mechanism in seasonal agriculture. The project will step up efforts to attain the goal of contributing to the policy making and efficient implementation on the elimination of WFCL in seasonal agriculture.

*Contributing members of CAOBISCO to the ILO PPP Project: Ferrero, Nestlé, August Storck KG, Barry Callebaut, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG, Mars incorporated, Chocosuisse, NATRA S.A., Griesson - de Beukelaer GmbH & Co., Cémoi chocolatier, Gebr. Jancke GmbH, Neuhaus NV, Stollwerck GmbH, Koenig Backmittel GmbH