ILO Visits Authorities Ahead of Hazelnut Harvest

News | 24 July 2023
ORDU/SAMSUN/DÜZCE (ILO News) – Delegations from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS) paid visits to local authorities in Ordu, Samsun and Düzce ahead of the upcoming hazelnut harvesting season.

The visits were conducted as part of the Integrated Model for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Türkiye project – a collaboration of ILO and MoLSS being undertaken with the financial support of the Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO). The delegation of officials from ILO and MoLSS, which included also representatives of the Pikolo Association – the implementing body in the program – visited public institutions in the Eastern and Western Black Sea provinces and districts where the project activities are being carried out.

The program was launched on July 18, 2023 with a visit to Erkan Karahan, the District Governor of Altınordu, Ordu, and continued on July 19 with visits to Şükrü Yıldırım, the District Governor of Çarşamba, Samsun; Mustafa Özdemir, Head of the Çarşamba District Directorate of National Education; Muhammet Raşit Aktay, the District Governor of Ayvacık and Acting District Governor of Salıpazarı; Ali Savaş, Head of the Salıpazarı District Directorate of National Education; Dr. Polat Kara, the District Governor of Tekkeköy; and Mustafa Uzunlar, the Head of the Tekkeköy District Directorate of National Education. The program culminated with a visit to Talha Altuntaş, Deputy Governor of Düzce and District Governor of Yığılca, on July 20.

The official delegation included Ayşegül Özbek Kansu, Senior Project Coordinator at the ILO Office for Türkiye; Mücahit Aksoy and Hamza Karakoyunlu, Labour Experts from the MoLSS; Onur Torun, Chairman of the Pikolo Association; and Numan Erkan, Esma Subaş and Engin Karahan, Training Coordinators at the Pikolo Association.

Commenting on their visits, Ayşegül Özbek Kansu said that they had met both with local authorities and with public institutions and organizations engaged in the fight against child labour and had the opportunity to evaluate the efforts ahead of the upcoming harvesting season, achieving significant outputs. “Our aim with these visits was to inform the local authorities and relevant public institutions and organizations in the districts in which the project will be implemented about the scope and purpose of the project, thus contributing to the establishment of inter-institutional coordination ahead of the Project activities. As emphasized during the regional meetings held on June 20–21, we attach great importance to these visits ahead of the harvesting season and their contribution to improving inter-institutional coordination; indeed, all the authorities we visited pledged their support to the project activities that will be carried out in the hazelnut harvesting season”, she said.

About the project

The project was initiated in Central and Perşembe districts of the Ordu province in 2013, and the project area was then expanded to include also the Fatsa and Ünye districts of Ordu. The second phase of the project (2015–2017) saw its coverage area increase even further to include also the Sakarya, Düzce and Şanlıurfa provinces, in addition to Ordu. The fourth phase of the project (2021–2023) again expanded the strategic intervention model to new cities, namely Giresun and Samsun.

The project targets three outputs:

1. To enhance national and local capacity to remove children from the WFCL in seasonal hazelnut harvesting in Türkiye; 2. To prevent at risk children from engaging in seasonal hazelnut harvesting and to remove those who are engaged; and 3. To enhance awareness among national and local stakeholders, organizations and individuals involved in hazelnut harvesting, as well as the public and media, about children’s rights and the importance of eliminating child labour in agriculture.

The project has so far reached 11,811 children.