On April 15, the Bilkent Social Awareness Projects (TDP) student volunteer organization held its second annual Volunteerism Summit, focused on the issue of child labor. The summit, which was held at the Turkey Bar Association’s Litai Hotel Congress Center, attracted a large number of students from universities in Ankara and across Turkey.
During the day-long event, expert speakers and panelists examined the issue from a number of different perspectives, with sessions covering such topics as child sex work, child labor in seasonal agriculture, and children working on the streets. Discussions considered not only the problem of child labor but also, more importantly, possible solutions.
Although the issue was approached from a number of angles, and participants came from many different universities and organizations, all were united in their desire to spread the message #çocukbaşınaişaçma (Don’t start working as a child).
Many national and international NGOs, including Support to Life, the International Labor Organization, the Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG), the Education Volunteers Foundation (TEGV), the Turkish Red Crescent Society and the Young Life Foundation, contributed support to the event. Each participant paid a fee of one book to attend; the books will be donated to village schools.