UNITE FOR CHILDREN-- UNICEF

THE LATEST NEWS FROM UNICEF TURKEY

UNICEF Expresses Concern about Conflict in Kyrgyzstan

Sunday, 13 June 2010 Bishkek: UNICEF expresses deep concern about the situation of children in Southern Kyrgyzstan, the scene of unrest and fighting since Thursday. UNICEF has received distressing reports, including photographs, of children being displaced, traumatized, separated from family members, and even being killed. UNICEF urges all parties to take all necessary measures to protect children, who are always the most vulnerable in conflicts, and stresses that no children should be involved in conflict or participate in demonstrations.

Formula 1 Pilots played football for UNICEF

The 4th “Formula Football Feast” proved the uniting power of football once again. Formula 1 team consisting of world’s best pilots and the All Stars team consisting of famous Turkish actors, football players, and artists met in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium on 26 May 2010. Half of the proceeds from the Formula Football Feast were donated to UNICEF.

In addition to Micheal Schumacher, seom of this year’sFormula 1 team members were Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg ve Sebastien Vettel. The All Starts team members were famous names,  including Ege, Yımaz Erdoğan, Sarp Apak, Kerem Alışık, Bedri Baykam, Hakan Şükür, Tugay Kerimoğlu and İlyas Tüfekçi.

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, on the case of Guantanamo Bay detainee, Omar Khadr

NEW YORK, 26 May 2010 - “UNICEF is concerned about the impending trial of Guantanamo Bay detainee, Omar Khadr.  Omar Khadr was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002 for crimes he is alleged to have committed when he was a child of 15 years of age. He is the last child soldier held in Guantanamo Bay.

Read more about the case of Guantanamo Bay detainee, Omar Khadr

Joint Statement of Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency

31 May 2010 - We are shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on board boats carrying supplies for Gaza, apparently in international waters. We condemn the violence and call for it to stop. The situation is still ongoing and we are awaiting confirmation of what has happened. However, we are in contact with the Israeli authorities to express our deep concern and to seek a full explanation. We are also urging them in the strongest terms to ensure that no further steps are taken that could endanger civilian lives. We wish to make clear that such tragedies are entirely avoidable if Israel heeds the repeated calls of the international community to end its counterproductive and unacceptable blockade of Gaza.

UNICEF condemns the recruitment of child soldiers

UNICEF is deeply concerned about recent news reports of children in the ranks of the PKK, the Kurdish group outlawed as a terrorist organization by the international community.

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Anthony Lake begins his tenure as UNICEF's Executive Director

NEW YORK, 1 May 2010 - Anthony Lake today begins his tenure as UNICEF’s sixth Executive Director, bringing more than 45 years of public and international service to the position.  “I am excited to be joining UNICEF. I look forward to working with our exceptional staff and our many partners to advance children’s rights around the world,” Mr. Lake remarked on his first day in office.

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Preventing Violence Against Children And Protecting Children: The Need For A National Strategy.

TThe recent news reports about children victims of violence and sexual abuse, as much heartbreaking as they are, should be regarded as signal rockets by the government and authorities as they flag major problems in the society, families and education and protection systems.

These blood chilling incidents are not unique to Turkey. Violence and abuse remain a harsh reality for millions of children around the world and continue to damage children’s lives and futures, even leading to their death in some cases.

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UNICEF Celebrates the Children’s Day of All Children

Photo: Oktay Üstün

The Catch up Education programme aims to help out-of school girls and boys aged 10-14 by a condensed curriculum and prepare them to reenter formal schooling with necessary credentials.

Girls and boys in Turkey are very lucky as they have a day dedicated to them since 1923. The day of the establishment of the Turkish Parliament was dedicated to the future of Turkey, to children. Much has changed in the lives of children in Turkey since then.

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Catch-Up Education - Best Practices Conference held in Sabancı University

Panel discussion at the Conference

The Catch up Education programme aims to help out-of school girls and boys aged 10-14 by a condensed curriculum and prepare them to reenter formal schooling with necessary credentials.

Catch-up education teams from different parts of Turkey got together and shared their experiences in Istanbul at the Sabancı University 7th Best Practices in Education Meeting held during 17-18 April 2010 with a special focus on inclusive education.

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Equal Opportunities and Gender Equality: Experiences in Italy and Turkey

The “Equal opportunities and gender equality: experiences in Italy and Turkey” conference, organized by the Embassy of Italy in Turkey and the Italian Institute of Culture in Ankara, with the support of  the United Nations Turkey Country Team, Unicredit Group and Yapı Kredi, took place on April 15th at Rixos Hotel in Ankara.The conference started with the opening speeches of the State Minister responsible for Women and Family Selma Aliye Kavaf and  the Italian Minister of Equal Opportunities Maria Rosaria Carfagna.

During his speech, Reza Hossaini, UNICEF Turkey Representative and the Chair of the UN Youth, Gender and Civic Engagement Thematic Group, focused on issues of women rights and inequality throughout the world.

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A new preschool in Ortaköy-Mardin with the contributions of Donor Mualla Edgü!

Photo by Kerim Öncül

09 April 2010, Mardin - A new step has been taken forward under the initiative We are adding preschools launched under the joint coordination of UNICEF National Committee and Preschool Education Directorate General of the Ministry of National Education. Hasan Lami preschool with 4 classrooms opened on April 9th with the contribution of Mualla Edgü will serve around 200 children in the area.

Ages from birth to 6 years constitute the most crucial phase in the life of a child. Education at these ages affects the whole life of the child; enhances learning achievements, encourages further education and helps in socialization as a healthy and productive individual. In Turkey, there is need for many preschool education institutions for children to reap the benefits of preschool education.

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UNICEF Executive Director, Ann Veneman launches Facts for Life, a guide for healthy childhood

07 April 2010, New York/Cenevre/Maseru, Lesotho - During a visit to Lesotho, a country entirely landlocked by South Africa, UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman, today launched Facts for Life, a publication which delivers life-saving information to families and communities on how to prevent child and maternal deaths, diseases, injuries and violence.

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PARENTING EDUCATION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF

UNICEF Turkey Representative Reza Hossaini while making an opening speech

25 March 2010, Ankara - A “PARENTING EDUCATION” campaign is being launched to raise the awareness of parents about the benefits of receiving training on how to raise their children. The campaign is being introduced to the public under the slogan “Parenting Education: A Secure Future for Children”.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign UNICEF Turkey representative Reza Hossaini said “Parents are supposed to be the best educator of their children. Family environment is supposed to be the first line of defense for protection of children. Sadly, very often, children do not get the best start in life nor grow up in a family environment that promotes their physical and mental development. Lack of care coupled with neglect and abuse in the early years of life will have an irreversible impact on children… Empowering parents through this campaign provides children a chance to grow to their full potentials.”

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Good News for Children Trowing Stones

UNICEF welcomes the proposed amendment to the Anti-Terrorism Act, also known as the draft law on “children throwing stones,” which would allow all children under age 18 to be tried in juvenile courts. The proposed law is a great development as the country approaches 23rd of April and the law is hoped to put an end to the desperate situation of children involved in demonstrations. If the law passes, it might mean that all children in conflict with the law will be treated in child courts, their best interests will be protected and measures restricting liberty are to be used as the ‘last resort’.

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Earthquake in Elazığ and Impact on Children

UNICEF Turkey shares the sorrow of the families who have lost their family members or friends during the earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale in Elazığ at 04.32a.m. on March 8, 2010. 41 people have lost their lives and around 74 people have been injured. 18 of the people who lost their lives were children, 8 of whom were at primary education age. Six villages around Karakoçan, the epicentre of the earthquake, particularly Okçular, Yukarıkanatlı and Kayalı have been mostly affected by the quake. UNICEF congratulates the Turkish government and NGOs on the timely and efficient rescue operations.

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TÜRKAN ŞORAY, THE SULTAN OF TURKISH CINEMA IS THE GOOD WILL AMBASSADOR FOR UNICEF-TURKEY

The valuable actress of Turkish Sinema, Türkan Şoray has been declared a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador  with a press conference organized on March 12, 2010 at the Istanbul Nippon Hotel.

UNICEF Turkey National Committee president Prof. Talât Halman, UNICEF Country Office REpresentative Reza Hossaini and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador  Müjdat Gezen have made speeches during the pres conference.  Türkan Şoray has been very emotional during the conference.

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Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on International Women’s Day
A time to focus on adolescent girls

UNICEF Gender Team with custom made t-shirts during Women's Day

NEW YORK, 8 March 2010 – “Last week in Guatemala I visited a UNICEF centre that houses girls as young as thirteen who have been rescued from brothels. The stories of suffering are simply unimaginable -- horrific situations of rape, prostitution, torture and lost innocence.

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on International Women’s Day

NEW YORK, 25 February 2010 - UNICEF is saddened to learn of the death in Ankara today of Professor Ihsan Dogramaci, a leader who dedicated his life to improving the rights and welfare of children.

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on the death of Professor Ihsan Dogramaci

Prof. Dr. Besim Üstünel Independent Preschool opened in Istanbul Silivri

Prof. Besim and Gülen Üstünel with children in the opening ceremony

Istanbul – Besim and Gülen Üstünel’s dream of sharing their personal wealth with children has finally come true last week. The Besim Üstünel Preschool, with contributions from the Minisry of National Education and UNICEF Turkey, was opened in Silivri.

Just one hour away from Istanbul, the Besim Üstünel Preschool, consisting of 5 classrooms, a principal’s room, a teacher’s room, a kitchen, study areas, and a big garden, is located in a beautiful environment and has the capacity to serve 200 children daily.

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Global consultation on Gender Equality in Istanbul

Gender consultation participants during panel sessions

Istanbul, 09 February 2010 - A diverse group of UNICEF colleagues is gathering this week in Istanbul for the first Global Consultation on Gender Equality.

Specialists in health, nutrition, education and child protection, social policy experts, operations and supply managers and programme officers, consisting of 34 country offices, all 7 regions and 15 Country Representatives, will engage in dialogue and plan the way forward for UNICEF to become a champion of gender equality.

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Charlie Simpson and His Bike

Charlie Simpson
finishing his tour at
Fulham South Park

Seven-year-old Charlie Simpson has cycled 8 km round Fulham's South Park to raise funds for UNICEF's Haiti Earthquake Children's Appeal. His goal was to raise £500 through his sponsored bike ride but has already raised over £200,000.

Charlie says: "There was a big earthquake and loads of people lost their lives. I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti. Please can you sponsor me and all your money will go to UNICEF. Thank you very, very much!"

Earthquake in Haiti

© AP Photo/Cruz
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

A devastating earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale has struck Haiti causing an unfolding humanitarian crisis. Children have been killed and injured — many are in desperate need of clean water, shelter and medical help. Early reports indicate a large number of casualties and widespread damage.
The situation for Haiti was already difficult before the earthquake hit the island. Haiti is the one of the poorest countries in the world and is struggling to recover from years of violence, insecurity and massive natural disasters. More than half of the country's 9.6 million inhabitants are under 21 years of age.
All children have rights — these are most at risk of being denied in emergencies. UNICEF is working to ensure that the rights of children affected in Haiti are not forgotten.

A gift of TL 22 could help us to provide water and a basic water kit to a family.
Please donate to UNICEF's Haiti Earthquake efforts today.

UNICEF has been working in Haiti since 1949. We rely entirely on voluntary contributions and receive no funding from the United Nations budget.

UNICEF’s State of The World’s Children report commemorates 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

NEW YORK, November 19, 2009 — A special edition issue of UNICEF's flagship The State of the World's Children report, tracking the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the challenges that remain, was released today on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Convention’s adoption by the UN General Assembly.

“The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most ratified human rights treaty in human history,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman. “It has transformed the way children are viewed and treated throughout the world.”

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Turkish Parliament launches State of the World’s Children report and Child Rights Monitoring website

Left to right: UNICEF Representative Reza Hossaini, General Director of Social Services and the Child Protection Agency İsmail Barış, Minister of State Selma Aliye Kavaf, Speaker of Parliament Mehmet Ali Şahin, Prof. Cevdet Erdöl, head of the parliamentary Child Rights Monitoring Committee, and European Commission Turkey Delegation Counsellor Ewan Marteil.

ANKARA, November 19, 2009 — Children to help monitor child rights - via the web.

The Turkish Grand National Assembly (Parliament) marked the twentieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with a launching ceremony for UNICEF’s new State of the World’s Children report and for its own child rights monitoring website.

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Turkish universities champion child rights
More countries expected to follow in promoting responsible news reporting of children

Photograph by Oktay Üstün / November 2009 / 4663
Dublin Institute of Technology participated in the ceremony by live video feed

ANKARA, November 6, 2009 — Seven Turkish universities are leading the way in European journalism studies by teaching a new child rights syllabus as part of their degree courses.

UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States Regional Director, Steven Allen, said: “The rights of children, their right to expression, to have a say in matters affecting them, to have their opinions heard, are all too often either ignored, or unknown, in news reporting. This child rights syllabus will provide young journalists with new tools for their profession, and we hope it will enable children to be more readily heard and listened to.”

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UNICEF: Without a protective environment, it’s a harsh life for children
UNICEF releases groundbreaking Report Card on Child Protection

TOKYO, 6 October 2009 — While progress is being made in reducing some violations of children’s rights, not enough is yet known about the extent of abuses against children. Violence and exploitation remain a harsh reality in the lives of many children around the world.

Millions of boys and girls around the world are subject to trafficking, are without parental care, or lack documentation they need to attend school and access basic health care. Millions more are forced to work under harmful conditions, while others face violence or abuse in their homes, in their schools, in their communities, in institutions or while in detention, often from the adult entrusted with their care.

These issues are reviewed in a new UNICEF report -- “Progress for Children: A Report Card on Child Protection,” -- released by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman in Tokyo today.

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ECONOMIC CRISIS AFFECTING THE WELFARE OF FAMILIES IN TURKEY
A new survey of households in Turkey’s five largest urban centers shows how families are affected by the economic slowdown and how they cope to make ends meet in difficult times

ISTANBUL, September 29, 2009 — The economic slowdown, through lower incomes and higher unemployment, has affected the lives of the majority of families in the five largest urban centers in Turkey: Adana, Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Kocaeli. Almost three quarters of families report reductions in income between October 2008 and June 2009, according to a new survey of 2100 households, jointly sponsored by TEPAV, UNICEF and the World Bank.

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THE ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE WELFARE OF FAMILIES:
RESULTS FROM FIVE URBAN CENTERS IN TURKEY

ANKARA — The economic slowdown, through lower incomes and higher unemployment, has affected the lives of the majority of families in the five largest urban centers in Turkey: Adana, Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Kocaeli. A new survey of living conditions in these cities shows that almost three quarters of families report reductions in income between October 2008 and June 2009. Among the poorest families at the onset of the crisis, more than 90 percent reported such a decline in their income. One third of the interviewed poor families have fallen behind in utility payments, and 9 percent have lost their electricity connection, at least temporarily. Families report they adjust to lower incomes by reducing food expenditures so that other vital expenses – like education – can be protected. Many poor urban families say they have mobilized support from neighbors, friends, family, their community, and public programs to make ends meet. And quite a few families say they have borrowed money. Yet families state that these survival rings are becoming thinner. About one-fifth of the poorest families say they have been left without any support.

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THE RIGHT TO QUALITY EDUCATION AND CHILD FRIENDLY SCHOOLS FOR ALL CHILDREN

TURKEY — UNICEF’s message on the opening of the 2009-2010 school year

At beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, UNICEF would like to wish all Turkey’s children and teachers success and happiness in their studies and in their careers.

We would also like to commend Ministry of National Education and school administrators throughout the country on the work which they have been doing to provide a quality education for all of the country’s children. We hope and trust that they will redouble their efforts in this direction in the days and months ahead.

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UNICEF ON ALERT AFTER ISTANBUL FLOODS

ISTANBUL — Turkey is undertaking extensive relief work following the flood disaster which killed at least 31 people, including at least two children, in the northwest of the country in the second week of September.
Istanbul and other settlements in the surrounding region were hit by some of the heaviest rainfall for 80 years. Roads were submerged and thousands of homes were flooded. Several people are still reported missing.
The livelihoods of the survivors are also at stake as the damage to properties and businesses is being counted in tens of millions of dollars.
Low-lying districts west of the city centre of Istanbul were the worst affected by the disaster, but homes also had to be evacuated and vehicles abandoned in many other settlements in the region, as well as in other parts of Turkey.

Read more about UNICEF on alert after Istanbul Floods.

UNICEF SUPPORTS EXPANSION OF PRESCHOOL EDUCATION IN TURKEY

Minister of National Education Nimet Çubukçu (centre) with Undersecretary Muammer Yaşar Özgül (left) and UNICEF Turkey Representative Reza Hossaini (right)
Photograph by: © 2009 UNICEF Turkey

ANKARA — UNICEF has welcomed the Turkish government’s adoption of a plan to ensure 100% enrolment in pre-primary education among five year-olds in 32 out of the country’s 81 provinces in the 2009-10 school year.

The governors and directors of education of the 32 provinces gathered in Ankara on June 11 to hear Minister of National Education Nimet Çubukçu underline the importance of the initiative. Governors are to be responsible for providing physical facilities while the Ministry will provide teachers and equipment.

“The pre-school education period is a very important period when the child develops rapidly and forms basic habits and skills,” the minister explained. She called on public officials, non-government organizations, the media and ordinary citizens to contribute to making the project to expand pre-school education a success. Parents need to become more aware that the cognitive development of children begins at a very early age, she added.

Read more about the Governors Meeting on Preschool Education from our Press Centre.

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20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—including civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

Read more in our Press centre.

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