Children of seasonal workers and hazelnut producers are attending classes together in Akçakoca Social Support Centre

Children of seasonal workers and hazelnut producers are attending classes together in Akçakoca Social Support Centre within the scope of “Integrated Model for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey Project.” Social Service experts are continuing to visit hazelnut fields and homes to register new children to social support centres.

News | 25 August 2015

An abandoned school building in Akçakoca Esma Hanım Village is repaired and put back in service as social support centre with the support of Progıda A.Ş. What makes this centre is different than the others is its registrants. Usually social support centres are for the children of seasonal workers but in this centre local children are also registering. Nejat Kocabay, Programme Officer of ILO Office for Turkey, underlines that it is an important step towards social inclusion and says that “Children are divided in groups by age and education level when they register at the social support centres and then our teachers prepare a tailor made education program in line with syllabus of Ministry of National Education which creates a great opportunity as summer school for local children. Mixed classes in Esma Hanım Village created a model for us to be applied in other social support centres within the project.”

Students form Urfa and Akçakoca blend together to get ready for a corner shoot. Akçakoca Social Support Centre

15 of 38 registered students in Akçakoca Social Support Centre are locals from Esma Hanım Village. Hazelnut Producer Ozan Kap declares that he convinced his nephews to register at the school as soon as centre was active. Kap says “Social support centre is here to support the elimination of child labour in hazelnut harvesting but it also serves as a summer school for local children whom can benefit a new knowledge and widen their horizons with new friendships.”

Social Service Expert Aytaç Gülcan gathers information on profiles of seasonal workers in the region in a meeting with middleman Ali Aktaş and Hazelnut producer Ozan Kap. Middleman Aktaş stating that he is in charge of organising approximately 2000 hazelnut workers in Akçakoca region. Aktaş is collaborating with project staff to identify children among workers and convincing worker families to register their children at the social support centre instead of taking them to hazelnut fields.

Social Service Expert Aytaç Gülcan, middleman Ali Aktaş and hazelnut producer Ozan Kap are seeking opportunities for collaboration to eliminate child labour. Esma Hanım Village, Akçakoca

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