Turkey is one of the most important producers of rose oil in the world. Every year thousands of seasonal agricultural workers, including refugees, travel together with their families to the southwest of the country, where the majority of rose gardens are concentrated. During the harvest season, workers live in basic conditions where their children lack access to childcare, safe play areas and education opportunities. This not only creates risks for the children, but it also creates challenges on a business level: as these children have nowhere to go, they follow their parents to the rose gardens where there is a risk of them getting involved in underage work and sustaining injuries.
Identifying this clear need to address workers’ childcare needs in the rose supply chain, an organic raw materials sourcing company has partnered with The Centre and Save the Children, to develop an innovative solution to this challenge: a tent-based child-friendly space. Beginning in May, our team in Turkey will travel to the rose gardens to assess the sites, identify a suitable location, collaborate with local partners to set up the facility and train the facilities’ staff. In order to cater to the needs of refugee families, the space will hire bilingual staff fluent in Turkish and Arabic.
The tent-based childcare facility will offer free childcare services for seasonal migrant parent workers, and a safe space for workers’ children to play, access learning opportunities, develop social skills and participate in family activities. At the same time, it will significantly lower the risk of child labour and other compliance issues related to children in rose production areas.
In tandem with the child-friendly space set up, The Centre will also carry out a child rights risk and impact assessment to help our client identify and understand the child rights risks in their rose supply chain, which will include recommended actions for short and long-term engagement.
The Centre is extremely excited to be involved in the pioneering of this tent-based child-friendly space in the Turkish rose supply chain and aims to make this a replicable model to offer childcare support in other sectors and agricultural settings. The Centre has previously set up close to a hundred child-friendly spaces in factories in China, but this new format shows how CFS can be adapted to different contexts while still meeting the needs of parent workers, children and businesses.
Photo (L-R): The area outside of the tent offers children a space to play and cool off in the shade; an opening ceremony was held to celebrate the highly-anticipated opening of the tent-based Child Friendly Space near the rose gardens where children's parents work
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