25 years ago the United Nations unanimously approved the Convention on the Rights of Child and since 20th of November is celebrated as Universal Children’s Day.
Today 40% of our population consists of 30 million young people and children under the age 19, 30% consists of 23 millon children under the age 15. Despite of this Turkey continues to be a country that has immense problems about child rights.
In Turkey there are disadvantaged children groups particularly who have a different mother tongue, are handicapped, live in underdeveloped and rural areas, live in poor city suburbs, are Romanies, Alevis, nonmuslims, in conflict areas, international migrants and girls.
In Turkey 1/4 of the children live in poverty. The worst forms of child labour exists in Turkey. There are still existing problems about child death and epidemic diseases rates, about basic needs like education, health, nutrition and shelter accessing rates. Despite participation to education and accession to qualified education rights should be ensured, children leave to or cannot continue to school regularly due to various reasons. Children extensively subjected to different types of violance, abuse, explotation or negligence. Judiciary treatment to children is not in line with international standarts. Child marriage still continues in large scales. Youth unemployment and increase in drug addiction continues disturbingly.
Turkey’s coherence to the Convention on the Rights of Child, that signed in 1990 and entered into force in 1995, shows rights of child and democratization of the country are one within the other. Turkey’s reservations of this Convention are restrictive on rights of child. Turkey should remove it’s reservations on the articles 17, 29 and 30 about language and culture .
It is clear today what has to be done. Reforms should be speed up with the comprehension that rights of child are right of future. Children have indispensable rights. Main approach should be about stopping child labour and child explotation, regarding rights and benefits of child within all the procedures and actions about children. Egalitarian and libertarian culture that accepts children as equal individuals should be adopted against authoritarian repressive culture.
Today the actual struggle is about protecting children from violance, negligence, various abuses, illtreatment and discrimination, to make them benefitting from all the public services particularly education and health. Turkey should approve all the international conventions on rights of child without reservations.
HDP Vice Co Chair