Türkiye Introduces Education and Child Rights in Emergencies Programme

15 May 2024
UNICEF/UNI576078/Kiliç
UNICEF/UNI576078/Kiliç

ANKARA, 15 MAY 2024 -To safeguard and promote children’s rights during emergencies, the “Education and Child Rights in Emergencies" programme in Türkiye was jointly launched today by the Ministry of National Education, the Board of Education, and UNICEF.

The three-year programme will help strengthen the capacities of Ministry personnel, including administrators, book review committees, programmers, experts, teachers, and school staff; on safeguarding children's rights during emergencies. The programme will also support the Ministry to have a clear road map to protect the well-being and rights of children in its emergency and disaster response plans.

The launch was attended by Celile Eren Ökten, the Deputy Minister of National Education, Prof. Dr. Cihad Demirli, President of Board of Education, and Paolo Marchi, UNICEF Representative to Türkiye.

The programme is a significant step towards building a comprehensive framework for safeguarding children during emergencies and ensuring their rights are upheld. And in doing so, ensure that Türkiye is aligned with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“Every child had the right to education, in all circumstances and settings.  Including in times of disasters and humanitarian crisis. During emergencies, when schooling is suddenly disrupted, children lose a sense of safety routine, and social connection.  Together with partners, UNICEF works to provide uninterrupted education for every child affected by any crisis.  The introduction of this programme with the Ministry of National Education is one more step towards our collective efforts in safeguarding learning for every child”, said Paolo Marchi, UNICEF Representative to Türkiye.

Disasters may occur when students are at school or in their homes. As witnessed following the devastating earthquakes in February 2023, ensuring the continuity of education is a critical element of a robust disaster response and recovery. Through this programme crucial collaboration and coordination among relevant stakeholders, including various ministries, organizations, and entities in Türkiye will be timely and effectively initiated to prevent the loss of learning for affected children.

“The Ministry of National Education works with other ministries, institutions, organizations, and CSOs to guarantee that children's rights are protected during disasters and emergencies, while also raising awareness among our students about the same issue through educational programs. In this regard, this "Education and Child Rights in Emergencies Project," which will be implemented in conjunction with UNICEF, will significantly help to increase the ability of our central and provincial personnel to safeguard child rights in challenging times," said the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of National Education, Celile Eren Ökten.

Education not only ensures that children continue to learn in times of crisis, but it also gives them an opportunity to a bright future. The Education and Child Rights in Emergencies programme will support children in developing knowledge, skills, and learning through education, guaranteeing that future generations can survive crises and create a resilient society.

Media contacts

Sema Hosta
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Türkiye
Tel: + 90 312 454 10 10
Tülay Güler
Communication Officer
UNICEF in Türkiye
Tel: +90 532 773 71 96

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