Nurcan Önder; Director General of Labor for the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, takes pride in the fact the Turkish government is working hard to improve labor conditions for its workforce -- 20 percent of which is employed in agriculture. The Turkish General Directorate of Labor has made strides in regulating working conditions through revised legislation and enacting policies for vulnerable workers, in addition to improving infrastructure, improving hygiene conditions and providing adequate care for workers' children.
Önder explains how important it is to value children's safety and education over economic gains. She is confident the ongoing efforts of the FLA program are raising awareness and advancing the program's goals to combat the use of child labor and forced labor in the farming and production of hazelnuts in Turkey.
"Hazelnuts are the most important product, especially in the Black Sea region. When harvesting them [it's vital] that we consider how we can do it in better conditions. We shouldn't pick this product at the expense of other people's quality of life," says Önder.