Seven teachers are working day and night to support the elimination of child labour in hazelnut harvesting in Hendek Social Support Centre located at MEB (Ministry of Education) Karadere Secondary School in Hendek Disrict of Sakarya Province. 22 students currently registered at the centre and numbers are increasing everyday due to efforts of the teachers. It is the first year for the project in the region therefore announcing the project is as important as teaching in the centre. Worker families are being identified in collaboration with mukhtars as they are spread through the villages; Sümbüllü, Karadere and Kırktepe. Workers can be contacted after 7 PM when the work is finished for the day and they are back at their settlement. Children mostly attend to social support centre from Sümbüllü Village and increasing numbers depend on not only collaborating with mukhtars but collaborating with middlemen also.
Teacher Erhan Sarı is trying to convince the middleman to register the children to Social Support Centre instead of taking them to hazelnut fields. Hendek
Teacher Erhan Sarı from the project commenting on his visits “It is a hard task. Middlemen first declare that they have no children in their group but then when they hear about the project they are easily convinced sending children at small ages. We keep on insisting and succeeded to register the children at age below 14-15.“
ILO Child Labour Program officer Nejat Kocabay informing the middleman on child labour legislation and reminding him that, having children to work in hazelnut fields under the age of 15 is illegal.
Family members gather during the visit. Each child discussed separately with middleman and family members intervene from time to time for the benefit of the children. Family in the picture above allowed their 3 children under the age of 15 to register at the social support centre after long convincing talks by project staff. Children are happy by all means after such decision.
Mehmet (12) has rightful pride and happiness for being in the school instead of hazelnut
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