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News Overview of the Human Rights Projects...

Overview of the Human Rights Projects supported by the Matra & Human Rights Department of the Dutch Consulate General in Istanbul

10 March 2016

1-   CSR Seminar & Human Rights Handbook – 2012

By Istanbul Chamber of Commerce & CSR Consulting Turkey

The overall aim of this project is to provide guidance to the business community operating in Turkey to adapt responsible business practices. These responsibilities include respecting human rights (child labor, equal rights for men and women employees, occupational health and safety) and respecting the environment ( pollution, waste, water and energy use).

The aims were achieved by hosting a seminar ‘’Sustainable Business: From Niche to Mainstream’’by bringing together Dutch and Turkish companies to create a common understanding of CSR;  and developing  a ‘’Human Rights in Business’’ handbook (UN Global compact principles) in Turkish  in order to help Turkish companies better understand HR-related issues and implement measures.

A 3-hour interactive seminar followed by networking cocktail took place in Istanbul Chamber of Commerce on 6 November, 2012.

2-   Human Rights in Business in Turkey: True face of CSR – 2012

By Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey

Industrial Cities in Turkey (Bursa, Kocaeli, Gaziantep, Adana, Kayseri Denizli)

The overall aim of this project was to raise awareness on ‘Human Rights in Business in Turkey’ in SME’s (especially those with mass production), SME unions, chambers of commerce and labour unions. Eventually the aim was that companies to integrate universal CSR/HR principles on their workfloor voluntarily.

The aim of the panels was to motivate companies to think about CSR, to understand its positive impact on business and society at large and to learn practical ways how to integrate it into their corporate strategy. There were also be one-on-one consultancy sessions for the participants with the experts on CSR/HR in business.

3-   Capacity Building on Human Rights in the Corporate World – 2012

Mikado Consulting & Sabanci University

The overall aim of this project was to increase the knowledge and  awareness level of the participants on human rights and to encourage/enable them to develop and conduct amendments concerning human rights in their companies by

1-            Human Rights Trainings

2-            Live Webinars

3-            Mentoring

4-            A final meeting was organised to share the output, reports and lessons learnt with a wider audience.

4-   NGO Capacity Building Programme for  Sustainable Business -2012

By Regional Environment Center (REC) Country Office Turkey

Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir

The aim of this project was to build capacity that results in better NGO-Business relations and a more pro-active role of NGOs as a watchdog and active stakeholder on the CSR and Human Rights agenda in business. 

This was achieved via the design and delivery of a training programme with course materials for 60 participants from Turkey. The capacity building in this field was further supported by the publication of a set of guidelines (print and online) which were disseminated to a much wider audience.

5-   Buy Responsibly – 2012


Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Bursa

The overall aim of this project was to raise consumer awareness on forced and exploited labour which takes place as a result of human trafficking. It aimed to create a link between everyday items sold in stores and the possible exploitative conditions in which these items were produced. These aims were achieved by implementing the ‘Buy Responsibly’ campaign which had already taken place in some European cities such as London, Brussels, Geneva and the Hague. The centre piece of this campaign was a large trolley which was placed upside down and had ‘migrant workers’ trapped inside of it. This trolley was placed at a busy square where volunteers will hand out informational documents to passers-by about the goal of the campaign. The project traveled to Ankara, Izmir and Bursa.

6-   Effective Anti-Corruption Programmes for the Turkish Business Community - 2014

By Transparency International

This project aims to promote awareness and understanding on ‘anti-corruption compliance’ programmes among the business community and strengthen self-monitoring systems of Turkish enterprises. Through a systematic approach, producing a roadmap for adoption of a proactive approach towards possible corrupt relations as well as stimulating change towards a corruption-free business environment is being targeted.

A Task Force (consisting of 8 members including academicians, international and national experts, representatives from business associations, high level bureaucrats from institutions such as SPK, BDDK) was formed in order to review the anti-corruption legislation with extraterritorial reach in the world.

Based on the above outcomes, a series of training workshops will be designed and applied to their different management levels.

The results of the training workshops and recommendations of TI-Turkey will be presented to the national experts, academics and other stakeholders such as business associations (TÜSİAD, Türkkonfed, MÜSİAD etc.), labour organizations, public agencies (Development Agencies, Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce, KOSGEB, Under secretariat of Foreign Trade etc.), members of the Turkish Parliament and related NGOs during a closure meeting.

7-   Corporate Social Responsibility for Enterprises - 2015

By TURKONFED (Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation)

This project aims to increase awareness and develop capacity of TURKONFED member companies on Corporate Social Responsibility in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey.

The companies in the targeted region are expected to be trained and equipped with CSR skills and implement them via a CSR Strategy for each benefiting company. It is also aimed to enhance the competitiveness of Turkish companies and to make sure that the companies are able to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

8-   Action-based collaborative approach to investigating child labour issues in the upstream cotton supply chain in Turkey- 2015

By Development Workshop together with Fair Labor Association (FLA)

Aegean/Izmir, Mediterranean/Antalya, Çukurova, Southeastern Anatolia and Ankara.

The aim if this project is to introduce pioneering policy and procedures in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in upstream supply chains. Information will be collected about working conditions and  child Labour risks at three different cotton supply chain stages (five fabric facilities, five ginning mills and associated farms) together with up to 10 Dutch retailers sourcing from Turkey and seven of their Tier 1 suppliers, and enable  the different stakeholders  to jointly prioritize remedial action for child labour by the end-June 2016.

Througout the project the planned activities are:

·         Communication with credible local stakeholders, Government, CSOs to collect feedback and mapping of existing programs.

·         Field visits

·         Data analysis is done and a report is prepared describing the challenges and opportunities at local level

·         Analysis of data, data triangulation and further verification of results in order to prepare the report.

·         A comprehensive account of findings and recommendations.

·         At 1 day long Local Stakeholder Convening in Ankara or İstanbul is conducted with 50 - 60 participants to jointly review results and to prioritize next steps for remediation; identification of possible partners to support remedial action

9-   An Integrated Model for the Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL) in Seasonal Agriculture in Hazelnut Harvesting in Turkey - 2015

By International Labour Organization (ILO)

Ordu (East Black Sea Region), Düzce and Sakarya (West Black Sea Region) and Şanlıurfa (South East Anatolia Region)

The aim of the project is to withdrawal and/or prevention of total number of 1000 children from work in seasonal hazelnut agriculture in selected provinces of Ordu, Düzce and Sakarya through promotion of corporate social responsibility and capacity building of public institutions, local governments, Chambers of Agriculture and local NGOs in combating child labour; and developing monitoring models and partnerships including public/private partnerships (PPP) while contributing a sustainable policy making process at national level. The project expects to reach out 1000 children (500 girls and 500 boys) at risk or working in seasonal hazelnut agriculture.