National and Local Stakeholders Met for the Elimination of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture

With the participation and contribution of national and local stakeholders, activities of hazelnut harvesting season of 2019 aimed at ending child labor in seasonal agriculture were discussed with respect to efficient implementation of relevant policies.

News | 19 December 2019
Within the framework of “An Integrated Model for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey Project”* jointly implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, a stakeholder workshop was held on 26 November 2019 in Ankara to assess the activities in the hazelnut harvest season of 2019 and discuss effective and sustainable activities as well as challenges with respect to the implementation of relevant policies.

In the first session, in addition to project activities of 2019, national policies, e-metip system and existing activities for the elimination of child labour in seasonal agriculture were addressed. Afterwards, implemented activities and suggestions were discussed within the framework of the Circular No. 2016/5 of the Ministry of National Education on the Access to Education of Children of Seasonal Agricultural Workers and Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Families and Circular No. 2017/6 of the Prime Ministry on Seasonal Agricultural Workers. Lastly, preliminary results of legislative gap analysis and local situation assessment were presented to receive comments and feedbacks from the national and local stakeholders.

While expressing his pleasure to come together with stakeholders, Mr. Numan Özcan, Director the ILO Office for Turkey, stated that it would be important to have both Project Steering Committee members and local stakeholders in the meeting where the harvesting season activities and results of legislative gap analysis conducted within the framework of the project will be shared and discussed. Mr. Özcan expressed that it is aimed to expand the intervention model developed with the project as well as to ensure its sustainability through local and national partnerships.

Stating that Units for Combating Child Labour were established in 81 provinces, Ms. Nurcan Önder, Director General of Labour of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services added that Provincial Directorates of Labour and Employment Agency, Familt, Labour and Social Services, social Security and National Education are cooperated and pilot provinces of “Seasonal Agricultural Workers Project (METIP)” were supported through national resources. Ms. Önder expressed that the joint work with the ILO Office for Turkey will be maintained for the elimination of child labour in seasonal agriculture and added that Prime Ministry Circular on Seasonal Agricultural Workers will be updated.

Project Steering Committee members including representatives from public institutions, social partners and academy as well as local authorities and representatives from Province and District Governorates and Province/District Directorates of Labour and Employment Agency and National Education were present in the workshop.

* The Project was started in 2012 under the partnership of ILO and Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in seasonal hazelnut agriculture in Ordu, in the East Black Sea region of Turkey. Following the successful conclusion of the first period, the Project was expanded in 2015 to cover the provinces of Düzce and Sakarya in the West Black Sea region, and Şanlıurfa which supplied the migrant workers for seasonal agriculture, and extended until the end of 2020. The overall objective of the Project is to contribute to eliminating the worst forms of child labour in seasonal agriculture in line with the government’s National Employment Strategy (2014-2023) and National Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (2017-2023). The Project aims to contribute to the processes of policy development and implementation, strengthening the national and local capacities and raise awareness on the issue to ensure that children are withdrawn from worst forms of labour and prevent children under risk from entering into work.