Novem­ber 20 was “Inter­na­tion­al Chil­dren’s Rights Day”. So Kedis­tan took its inner child by the hand in order to jot down these elo­quent figures.

The fig­ures are most­ly about Turkey.

Children’s Prisons

There are 7 pris­ons for chil­dren in Turkey and 3 edu­ca­tion homes ( re-edu­ca­tion, mean­ing refor­ma­to­ries!). Accord­ing to fig­ures pub­lished by the min­istry of Jus­tice (in April 2017), close to 2900 chil­dren are locked up in these places of incar­cer­a­tion. The fig­ure involves boys most­ly (and about one hun­dred girls) and includes both con­demned chil­dren and those await­ing sen­tenc­ing. Every year, approx­i­mate­ly 10 000 chil­dren become acquaint­ed with prison, and 120 000 chil­dren go through police stations.

Accord­ing to the data from TÜİK (Turkey’s Insti­tute for sta­tis­tics) 68% of the chil­dren are re-arrest­ed in the same year. Child “crim­i­nal­i­ty” shows expo­nen­tial growth. At the same time, chil­dren’s tri­bunals are clos­ing down one after the oth­er, but the con­struc­tion of 15 new chil­dren’s pris­ons proceeds!

CISST-TCPS' Report 2017-November HERE (in Turkish)

A report from CİSST/TCPS (Asso­ci­a­tion of civ­il soci­ety in the carcer­al sys­tem – infor­ma­tion net­work on Turk­ish pris­ons) deal­ing with vio­lence in chil­dren’s pris­ons spec­i­fies that the Jus­tice min­istry con­sid­ers it as “vio­lence between youths” and abus­es on detained chil­dren by prison staff are list­ed as iso­lat­ed cas­es. The report under­lines the fact that “the for­mer Jus­tice min­is­ter had illus­trat­ed him­self on the mat­ter of vio­lence in prison, describ­ing the com­paints of tor­ture and ill treat­ment as propaganda”.

Yet the min­istry con­firms that a cer­tain num­ber of deaths pre­sent­ed appeared “sus­pi­cious”. 68 chil­dren and youths lost their lives in prison.

Com­plaints of tor­ture and ill-treat­ment are usu­al­ly filed with­out fol­low-up and with­out ensu­ing con­vic­tions. The report lists 92 offi­cial­ly reg­is­tered com­plaints over the past ten years, only 18 of which were exam­ined, 10 of them dis­missed with­out con­vic­tions. How­ev­er, between Novem­ber 2015 and June 2017, the orga­ni­za­tions who sub­mit­ted the report count­ed 133 com­plaints by chil­dren, 111 of which were for tor­ture and ill-treat­ment. These com­plaints come from 15 dif­fer­ent pris­ons out of which the chil­dren’s prison of Sin­can stands out.

Between 2006 and March 2017, 18 chil­dren lost their life in prison. 10 of these chil­dren were sim­ply under arrest and had not been con­vict­ed yet.

These chil­dren, con­sid­ered as “crime machines” are prod­ucts of the sys­tem itself!

Chil­dren’s pris­ons are not ben­e­fi­cial for soci­ety nor for children.

Don’t lock up the chil­dren, close the jails!

HDP deputy Mer­al Danış Beş­taş, also remind­ed Par­lia­ment on Novem­ber 16 that 668 chil­dren aged between 0 and 6 years, are present­ly held in jail with their mothers.

The children outside…

Part of the work force

In Turkey, chil­dren are exploit­ed under harsh work­ing con­di­tions. In 2012, 602 thou­sand youths aged between 15 and17 had to work out of neces­si­ty, or were forced to do so. In 2016 the fig­ure had reached 709 thousand…

In April 2017, the DİSK Union pub­lished a report titled “Being a child-work­er in Turkey” and announced that close to 2 mil­lion chil­dren were part of the active work force in Turk­ish, some 80% of them undeclared.

The Work­ers’ Health and Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil states that in 2016, 56 chil­dren lost their life in work relat­ed acci­dents, because of insuf­fi­cient or nonex­is­tent secu­ri­ty mea­sures (acci­dents con­sid­ered as “assas­si­na­tions”). Only for the first months of 2017, 2 chil­dren died this way every month.

Sexual abuse

Eğitim-Sen, the teach­ers’ union, report­ed that for the first five months of the 2016–2017 school year, 182 cas­es of sex­u­al assault were brought to its atten­tion. Since 2002, 440 thou­sand chil­dren under the age of 18 have become preg­nant fol­low­ing sex­u­al assaults. Girls under the age of 15 account­ed for 15 937 of these cases.

And if we widen the pic­ture to the rest of our beau­ti­ful planet…

60 million children at risk of losing their life

Child mor­tal­i­ty esti­mates pub­lished by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mor­tal­i­ty Esti­ma­tions declared in its report that, between 2017 and 2030, 60 mil­lion chil­dren would die before reach­ing the age of 5 because of migra­tions, wars, vio­lence, famines, etc… New­borns will rep­re­sent the major­i­ty of those deaths.

Thus, the fig­ures don’t only affect Turkey but in all cas­es, the prob­lems are linked to liv­ing con­di­tions cre­at­ed by a glob­al sys­tem to which we are told there is no alternative.

When will chil­dren be includ­ed on the list of endan­gered species?

Français : Journée inter­na­tionale des droits de l’en­fant Cliquez pour lire

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