Hazelnut Harvest Season Of 2020 Completed Successfully in Terms of Combating Child Labour Despite COVID-19 Pandemics

The activities undertaken to combat child labour in the framework of “Comprehensive Model Project for Eliminating Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Hazelnut Agriculture” implemented jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and General Directorate of Labour of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services were successfully completed despite the pandemic conditions.

News | 16 October 2020
On 8 October 2020, the officials and representatives from the ILO Office for Turkey, and the Department of Employment Policies of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services, and training and field coordinators of the project met to evaluate the activities undertaken in the hazelnut harvest season of 2020.

The activities for this year were planned along the proposals from all actors participating in the Meeting of Steering Committee and Stakeholders held on 9 July 2020. Then the training and field coordinators commenced the activities in the project provinces of Ordu, Sakarya and Düzce through discussions with relevant organisations.

This year, the priority is particularly on providing information on the COVID-19 pandemic and distribution of hygiene materials. Project workers along with representatives from relevant public agencies visited seasonal agricultural worker families, agricultural intermediaries and owners of fields to inform them on what should be done to protect against the COVID-19 pandemic, and distributed such protective equipment as masks, disinfectant and body temperature measuring devices. Such efforts reached out 417 seasonal agricultural worker families, 42 agricultural intermediaries and 67 owners of gardens.

The training activities in Saraycık, Kırlı, Fatsa and Ünye districts of Ordu province reached out 617 children and 430 children regularly participated in educational activities including 194 girls and 236 boys. As the rules for social distancing and use of masks and disinfectant were strictly enforced during the training activities, the most elating outcome was that no infection of the COVID-19 disease occurred in children or trainers.

In addition to the activities undertaken jointly with the public agencies, hazelnut companies were also intensively engaged. Information was provided on many topics of combating child labour to 53 workers of 6 hazelnut companies, and technical assistance provided for anti-child labour training.

Deputy Minister of Interior İsmail ÇATAKLI, Governor of Ordu Tuncay SONEL and members of the Subcommitte on Children’s Rights of the TGNA Human Rights Commission visited Saraycık METIP area to review activities on site. Through an online meeting, Minister of National Education Ziya SELÇUK was briefed on project activities.

Meetings were held with all stakeholders to comprehensively assess the activities undertaken. Activities planned for upcoming periods were reviewed in light of the experience derived from work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Work was initiated to share the experience with all relevant actors through various platforms.