Ministry of Family and Social Services and UNICEF Turkey hold the “Child Wellbeing in Social Assistance” Conference

Inclusive and integrated social protection, social services, and education are the best investments in the future of Turkey

15 October 2021
UNICEF
UNICEF

ANKARA, 15 October 2021- The Ministry of Family and Social Services and UNICEF Turkey held today a conference titled “Child Wellbeing in Social Assistance” with the participation of more than 150 participants from government, academia, civil society, and international organizations ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty[1].

During the conference, participants discussed the impact of social assistance and social services on mitigating poverty and improving the wellbeing of children. The outcomes of the conference will contribute to further strengthening and integration of social assistance and social services programmes targeting children.

Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Representative to Turkey, said, “All children have the right and the potential to be happy, healthy, well-educated, and successful. However, socio-economic hardships and shocks erode that potential and affect a child’s wellbeing and future. Children are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of any shock or hardship, and these effects can stay with them for life, resulting in a “cycle of disadvantage”. “Well-coordinated, adequate, and regular cash transfers and social services are a proven solution to ensure that no family or child is left behind, especially when COVID-19 creates serious challenges for all countries, high-income and low income alike," De Dominicis added.

To underline the multifaceted nature of child wellbeing, the notions of child sensitive social protection and multi-dimensional poverty are utilized. These notions tell about a range of issues children experience in nutrition, material deprivation, physical and mental health, education and so forth.

The conference highlighted Turkey’s 11th National Development Plan, which sets important targets for strengthening and integrating social protection and social services for children, with the participants renewing their commitment to support the realization of the national plan.

The conference presented the extension of the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education Programme (CCTE) to Refugees as a successful example of integrated social protection programming. Funded by the EU, the CCTE programme is implemented through a partnership between the Ministry of Family and Social Services, Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF and has reached over 700,000 children since 2017.

In the conference, suggestions were presented to move the agenda forward along the lines of the European child guarantee and child grants -universal or targeted- which can move disadvantaged families and children out of poverty and increase their wellbeing.

H.E. Mrs. Derya YANIK, Minister of Family and Social Services, said “We are aiming to spread the welfare to society on the basis of eliminating poverty. We believe that social policies must be designed and implemented in a wholistic framework that is inclusive, empowering and transformative. On that note, our efforts for children become more important as we see them as guarantees of our future.

We are implementing programs for advancing "children's welfare" as a requirement of the rights of children and with a view to efficient and effective utilization of our human capital. For this purpose, our citizens in need of assistance can now apply to social assistances through e-government platform without requiring them to visit Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations or collect documents from different institutions and organizations. Thus, they will have much faster access to assistances that they need. This is another important step that we take to facilitate our people's access to services.”

 


[1] The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is marked globally on 17 October each year.

 

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Sema Hosta
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Türkiye
Tel: + 90 312 454 10 10

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