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 Family, Labour and Social Services 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 is still a problem in seasonal agricultural work. 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.

TAgainst this background and in compliance with the main objective of Time-Bound Policy and Programme Framework, the ILO and the Turkish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services (MoFLSS) 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 second phase (2015-2017) covering Sakarya, Düzce and Şanlıurfa provinces in addition to Ordu. For the period of 2018-2020, Phase III is initiated to ensure broader policy advocacy and awareness raising with the aim of supporting the efficient implementation of developed policies.

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, the Government’s strategy drawn by the National Employment Strategy (2014-2023) and the National Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (2017-2023). The project aims to withdraw and/or prevent children from work in seasonal hazelnut agriculture in selected provinces of Ordu, Düzce and Sakarya through capacity building of public institutions, local governments, and local NGOs in combating child labour and promotion of corporate social responsibility; and develop monitoring models and partnerships including public/private partnerships (PPP) while contributing a sustainable policy making and implementation process at national level.


The project focuses on three outputs:
Output 1/Capacity Building: improvement in the capacity of national and local institutions in planning, managing, coordinating, monitoring and implementing activities for the elimination of WFCL in seasonal agriculture in hazelnut harvesting

Output 2/Direct Intervention: withdrawal or prevention of children vulnerable to child labour in seasonal agriculture in hazelnuts harvesting (at-risk or engaged in work) through referral and protection services
Output 3/Awareness Raising: raising awareness on the elimination of child labour in seasonal agriculture within national and local stakeholders, all actors of the harvesting process, the public and the media, in order to enhance advocacy, public awareness and policy dialogue


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;
  • sstrengthening local governance capabilities, democratic institutions, and enhancing the capacity for enforcing the rule of law.
The project contributed to local and national ownership and commitment for the elimination of WFCL in seasonal agriculture through demonstrating a model for solution with necessary measures incorporated into national policy documents for sustainability. The Phase III will continue the strategic intervention model and focus on the efficient implementation of national policies to ensure sustainability of interventions for the elimination of child labour in seasonal agriculture.

Documentary Films: 1-

Documentary Films: 2-