EU provides EURO 6 million for Turkish child protection scheme
Boys from southeastern Turkey at a celebration
The EU is providing EURO 6 million for a new project “Towards Good Governance, Protection and Justice for Children in Turkey”, launched by Abdülkadir Aksu, Minister of the Interior, Nimet Çubukçu, State Minister responsible for Women’s and Children’ Issues, and Ambassador Hansjörg Kretschmer, the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Turkey.
The project will be implemented by UNICEF. It aims to improve child protection by boosting the capacity of institutions to help children in conflict with the law and other vulnerable children. As well as reviewing the current situation of such children in Turkey, pilot projects will collect data and other information, and develop common strategies and best practices for the protection and reintegration of these children. The project aims to reach professionals, policy and decision makers at the legal, policy and institutional levels. Institutions will be equipped with advanced training and teaching materials, so that professionals increase their expertise in child rights, child protection and the juvenile justice system.
The 2005 Progress Report of the European Commission highlighted the new legal framework for child protection adopted by Turkey. However, the recent incidents of child abuse at an institution in Malatya triggered widespread criticism of the child protection system.
Other areas of concern include the protection of children from domestic violence; ill treatment and abuse; the institutionalisation of children; juvenile justice; and the need for an independent monitoring system for child rights.
There are reportedly 42,000 children thought to be living and/or working on the streets of Turkey, and approximately 18,000 children are living in residential institutions. In addition, children accused of an offence wait on average 400 days to appear in court -- twice as long as adults.
The project will last 27 months. Main partners include the Social Services and Child Protection Agency General Directorate, the Security General Directorate, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of National Education, the Turkish Bar Association and civil society organisations. The main operational partner is the Gendarme General Commander.
For more information:
Sema Hosta, Communication Officer, UNICEF Turkey. Tel: (+90 312) 454 10 00, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gamze Kösekahya, European Commission Delegation. Tel (+ 90 312) 459 87