Piloting Strategies to Reduce Child Labor in the Hazelnut Harvest
Around the world there are more than 160 million children working, primarily in the agriculture sector.
As an organization with more than a decade of experience in the agriculture sector, the Fair Labor Association led a 31-month-long pilot program focused on reducing child labor for an at-risk and in-demand commodity: hazelnuts sourced from Turkey. Turkey is the world’s largest producer and exporter of hazelnuts, repsresenting about 70 percent and 82 percent of the world’s production and exports of hazelnuts.
The pilot, made possible through the support of the U.S. Department of Labor's International Labor Affairs Bureau (USDOL-ILAB) and three FLA-affiliated companies -- Nestlé, Olam, and Balsu -- tested implementation of USDA guidelines on best practices for eliminating child and forced labor in agricultural supply chains. Under this pilot, the stakeholders are united to combat the use of child labor and support ethical recruitment practices in the farming and production of hazelnuts in Turkey.
The FLA helped to develop the U.S. Department of Agriculture Guidelines for Eliminating Child and Forced Labor in Agricultural Supply Chains, and through the implementation of the pilot the FLA and its partners developed and executed sustainable solutions for addressing child labor, such as providing safe spaces for children as an alternative to work and training workers, farmers, labor contractors, and company staff on child labor issues.