Improving Employment Practices in the Turkish Cotton Sector

Issues Health Safety & Environment Hours of Work

FLA and Iyi Pamuk Uygulamalari Dernegi (Good Cotton Practices Association), a strategic partner of the Better Cotton Initiative in Turkey, in 2017 launched “Improving Employment Practices in the Turkish Cotton Sector—Toward Decent Working Condition in Cotton Farms in Şanlıurfa,” a project in partnership with seven global brands—adidas, Asos, IKEA Range and Supply, Inditex, Nike, Puma, and PVH—sourcing apparel and other cotton products in Turkey.

The FLA-IPUD project ran from August 2017 to February 2019 with the aim of providing insight into employment practices and working conditions at the field level in Turkey’s cotton sector and piloting interventions to address the labor rights gaps. Specifically, the project included the following objectives: build capacity at the local level; test remediation strategies; pilot farm-level interventions on decent work and recruitment practices; dialogue with policymakers and other stakeholders at the national and local levels; and identify next steps that will inform a sectoral-approach to improving labor standards in cotton farms.

To achieve the aims, the project work plan included the following activities: conduct worker profiling research to gain a deeper understanding of the workforce and the workers’ needs; complete community profiling and services mapping to gain insights into workers’ social and economic environment and available services; provide training to workers, farmers, and labor contractors to build capacity at the local level; pilot farm-level interventions to improve working conditions and prevent child labor; test remediation strategies based on issues related to working conditions; and establish a dialogue with government stakeholders.