There are about a million child workers in Turkey….

Although Turkey has been a signatory to International Labour Organization’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No:182), acknowledging child labour in Seasonal Migratory Work to be one of the three worst forms of child labour in Turkey, current legislation is not enforced.

The children, migrating with their families each year, are forced to work under harsh conditions and to break away from education. This interruption imprisons them in a “cycle of poverty”, ensuring that they will share the destiny of their parents.

Support to Life’s campaign ““BU İŞ ÇOCUK OYUNCAĞI DEĞİL” succeeded in raising awareness on child labor in migratory agriculture, and in achieving the establishment of a Parliamentary Investigation Committee on seasonal agricultural work in Turkey.

During the year, with its Bu İş Çocuk Oyuncağı Değil (This is No Kid’s Toy) campaign (, Support to Life managed to call over 30,000 people and 25 civil society organizations to sign an online petition, asking for the formation of a Parliamentary Investigation Committee to address the problems of migrant seasonal workers in Turkey. Symbolically on World Children’s Right Day, Support to Life presented the petition to the Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey, Cemil Çiçek, thanking him for the initiative. After a few days of parliamentary meetings, the Committee was established as requested. The campaign also created awareness through the extensive use of social media as well as print and visual media.

20th of November World Children’s Right Day Activities

On 20 November, Support to Life invited people to share their childhood photos on social media in order to show support to the campaign. On the same day, Support to Life also organized streets activities in Kadıköy/Istanbul and Kızılay/Ankara, as well as in 6 universities and one community center.

Finally, Support to Life arranged five roundtable events in Istanbul with the participation of representatives of civil society organizations, interest groups, unions, local governments, public institutions including related Ministries, universities and the private sector, aimed at collecting policy suggestions and solutions to overcome the issue of child labor in agriculture in Turkey.

Good Social Practices Trainings

In addition to its awareness campaign, Support to Life found more effective ways of conveying the key messages to stakeholders directly involved in the employment of child labor Support to Life organized community based trainings on Good Social Practices reaching out to 3,991 hazelnut farmers in 34 gardens in five different provinces of the Black Sea region. Through community trainings in Good Social Practices, Support to Life facilitated the sensitization of farmers and their children on the causes and effects of child labor being used in seasonal agricultural work.

At the same time, Support to Life organized workshops and activities for different groups of children in the region. For children of working families, summer camp activities took place in Düzce during the course of the hazelnut picking season. These activities comprised workshops on children’s rights, life skills and assertive communication, among others. Fun and educational activities such as a photography exhibition of photos taken by the children were completed, along with football tournaments for girls and boys, picnics and social events, and study tours on various occupations to enhance future goals and hopes. Similarly activities were also conducted with the children of hazelnut farmers to convey similar messages to their peers.

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