Children in danger

There is no day left for children to celebrate. Violations and abuse of children’s rights have come to the fore again on World Children’s Day. The data shows a grim picture: they are killed, forced to work, imprisoned and deprived of education


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Today, November 20 is World Children’s Rights Day, but a lot of information again reveals that children’s rights are being destroyed. November 20, 1989 marks the 32nd anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the protection of children and the improvement of their conditions. But the level of child rights violations is alarming. Although children have died in labor-related killings in the country, they remain alone due to hunger and poverty.

They died in the working homicide

One of the children who had to work due to poverty was 13-year-old Syrian Ula Kerem, who recently died in a work murder in Mersin. Unfortunately, Ula Keram is not the only example. According to the OHS Assembly, at least 513 children have died in occupational killings since 2013. Of these children, 58 are refugees. There were 294 deaths in agro-forestry, 50 in construction, 37 in metals, 23 in housing and 21 in commerce.

A report released by the ILO and UNICEF on June 10 states that there are 160 million children in the world. In Turkey, the number is 720 thousand, aged 5-17 years. The OHS Assembly further announced that 30.8 percent of children work in agriculture, 23.7 percent in industry and 45.5 percent in the service sector. The remaining millions of children are exploited on the streets for heavy and dangerous work.

Incidents of abuse are on the rise

The Diyarbakir branch of IHD has announced that 228 children have been killed in the last 10 years in the eastern and central Anatolian regions, 64 of them by police and soldiers. Between 2004 and 2015, when the AKP was in office, at least 241 children were killed by police or soldiers, according to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey. According to the Fisa Child Rights Center, 123 children lost their lives in the conflict between 2015-2020. Between 2007 and 2020, 93 children who were criminal police officers died, according to data released by the Baran Tursun Foundation.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the number of children forced to stay with their mothers in prison. Accordingly, about 345 children and 780 children are incarcerated with their mothers. According to judicial statistics released by the ministry in 2019, 22,689 cases filed under the scope of ‘Crimes Against Sexual Immunity’ are crimes of sexual abuse against children.

Birthdays of 142 daughters

Another TURKSTAT data on children has been published in birth and marriage statistics. In 2020, 17,047 girls aged 16-17 were married, compared to 9,714 children aged 15-17. In 2020, 142 girls under the age of 15 gave birth.

Children were away from school and education due to the coronavirus epidemic. According to the statistics of the Ministry of National Education for the academic year 2020-2021, the number of students in formal education opportunities has decreased from 18 million 241 thousand 881 to 18 million 85 thousand 943. According to the statistics of the Ministry of National Education, the number of students has decreased by 156 thousand as compared to the previous year. According to the Education Reform Initiative, in the 2020-2021 academic year, 75,000 students are out of school in primary, secondary and tertiary education; Girls lag behind boys at all levels.

Domestic violence has increased

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) had the highest number of child protection and coordination units established in June last year due to domestic violence against children. Of the applications received in the unit, 23 per cent were related to domestic violence, 13 per cent to sexual abuse, 10 per cent to psychological neglect, 9 per cent to psychological abuse, 9 per cent to educational neglect, 8 per cent to traumatic process, 8 per cent to divorced parents.

Crimes against children twice

At a news conference hosted by the Izmir Bar Association Child Rights Center, it was pointed out that children could not get justice during the epidemic. The statement said that children were facing violations of rights and illegal practices, adding: “During the epidemic, there was a fourfold increase in sexual offenses against children. Epidemics negatively affect children’s development, increase their risk of exposure to violence and crime, and make it difficult for children to access justice.


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