ILO, MoLSS and CAOBISCO Officials Pay Field Visits to Ordu and Samsun to Monitor Harvest Season Activities

“Our project has been continuing for ten years to serve the future. We plan to continue our efforts in the new period”, said Moral, Sustainability Manager at CAOBISCO.

News | 09 September 2023
ORDU / SAMSUN – Officials from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS), and the Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries of Europe (CAOBISCO) paid field visits to Ordu and Samsun to monitor the harvest season activities on site.

The visit was organized as part of An Integrated Model for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Türkiye Project, one of the three projects under the ILO’s Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour. Among the participants of the visiting delegation were representatives from the ILO and the MoLSS, as well as officials of member companies of CAOBISCO, the donor of the project. The visit was organized on 15-17 August 2023 in order for representatives from the donor organization to examine on-site the activities conducted under the project supported by them and to obtain detailed information on the actions taken for the elimination of child labour in Türkiye.

The program was started in Ordu with the visits paid to İsa Kaymak, Provincial Director ofLabour and Employment, and Mehmet Fatih Vargeloğlu, Provincial Director of National Education, by Nejat Kocabay, Senior Programme Officer at ILO; Ayşegül Özbek Kansu, Senior Project Coordinator at ILO; Mehmet Koray Abacı, Senior Project Coordinator at ILO; Aykut Geçer, Head of Employment Policies Department of the General Directorate of Labour of MoLSS; and İbrahim Konuk, Assistant Labour Expertat the same department. The visit served as an opportunity to evaluate the project activities conducted in Ordu and to express satisfaction regarding the tripartite stakeholder participation established under the project. The delegation then visited Saraycık METIP area.

Our project has been continuing for ten years to serve the future. We plan to continue our efforts in the new period."

Alicia Bellon Moral, Sustainability Manager at CAOBISCO
The delegation expanded on the second day of the visit with the participation of Alicia Bellón Moral, Sustainability Manager at CAOBISCO; Rebecca Nguyen Van Thuy, Global Social Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Mondelez International; Aslı Köse, Ferrero Türkiye Farming Values Country Manager; and Hazal Tonguç, FerreroTürkiye Farming Values Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator.

The program started with a project information meeting, where a summary of efforts made over the past ten years was presented. Thereafter, there was an open session where participants expressed their opinions, comments, and suggestions. Alicia Bellón Moral, Sustainability Manager at CAOBISCO, stated that this ten-year project served the future and that productive negotiations were currently ongoing between the ILO and CAOBISCO for a possible fifth phase. Moral and Nguyen Van Thuy stated that they were pleased with the success achieved under the project so far, emphasizing that the project apparently created another layer at every stage and that this was very impressive. They expressed that all stakeholders embraced and had a will to support this project so that CAOBISCO’s training activities may continue, and other activities may be further diversified and enriched.

Dursun Oğuz Gürsoy, Deputy Chairman of the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters’ Association, drew attention to the fact that child labour in the hazelnut harvest could be eliminated to a large extent if regulations were made regarding the conditions determined for farmers to receive financial support from the government each year and if the elimination of child labour in the garden was included as a requirement.

The delegation then paid a courtesy visit to Erkan Karahan, Altınordu District Governor. During the visit, the delegation and officials of the Altınordu District Governorship exchanged ideas about efforts made under the project for the elimination of child labour, the conditions of METIP areas, and administrative regulations for seasonal agricultural workers in the region, particularly in Ordu. District Governor Karahan stated that the activities carried out so far since the start of the project have greatly contributed to transforming the Saraycık METIP area into a model that would set an example throughout Türkiye.

The delegation also visited the METIP area in Saraycık, viewed the prefabricated building consisting of 8 classrooms, a nursery, a health unit, and an information room, and had the chance to directly observe the training and cultural activities and games at the school. They were informed that students actively participated in training and socio-cultural activities while their parents were working in hazelnut gardens. Finally, the delegation visited two settlements in Terme, Samsun, to view on-site the works implemented by the ILO through a public-private partnership project for the rehabilitation of the housing units allocated to seasonal agricultural workers.

Visits to Schools and Hazelnut Gardens

On the third and last day of the visit, the delegation paid a visit to Samsun Çarşamba Kızılot Secondary School to view on site the activities implemented under the project. During the visit, the delegation was accompanied by Halit Doğan, Mayor of Çarşamba District, Mustafa Özdemir District Director of National Education, Onur Torun, Chairman of the Pikolo Association, and Ömer Dede, Board Member of the Pikolo Association, and was informed about the curriculum, number of children, age class distribution, monitoring, and how the problems were solved.

The participants also visited a hazelnut garden in the region, where harvesting has not yet started, and had the opportunity to have a talk with the owners about hazelnut production, working conditions, and differences between locations. They also had the opportunity to get information about the different processes of production, such as harvesting, drying, shelling, and calibration.

Finally, the delegation visited Yavaşbey Primary School in Salıpazarı district and viewed on site the activities carried out under the project. The delegation was accompanied by Halil Algül, Mayor of Salıpazarı District; Ali Savaş, District Director of National Education; and project staff of the Pikolo Association.