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Children's Right

A Reminder of the Responsibilities Arising from The Convention on the Rights of the Child!

The ongoing armed-conflicts in provinces and districts, in Turkey, in which civilians also live, have resulted in the death and injury of many children, or of their parents. In consideration of this grave situation, we must remind the State of the Republic of Turkey of their responsibilities arising from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (art. 38):1. To respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts.2. To take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.3. To take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.The society of Turkey must be made aware of the precautions the State is taking, in areas where military operations are conducted, to ensure the right to life and protection of the child and civilians, to protect the physical and mental health of children who have been harmed or have lost a parent as a result of being in a conflict situation and to minimise the long lasting negative effects of this period. Additionally, these precautions must be made effective immediately in order to prevent the further death and suffering of children. Upmost importance and priority must be given to ensure that special precautions are taken for the wellbeing and safety of children who themselves have been harmed in the conflict or have experienced trauma due to the loss or injury of a relative. We invite the State to publicise and explain the precautions being taken to prevent injury to children and all civilians, to stop the armed conflict so as to prevent the death and injury of children and to adopt peaceful solutions to resolve the situation. The death or harm of a child resulting from an attack by one of the conflicting parties or the prevention of access to vital resources, such as medicine or food, is a grave assault on the right to life. Conflict situations endanger many rights of the child, most notable, the right to education, protection and health. This deterioration of these rights cannot be accepted as a collateral consequence of war nor can it be ignored. States are responsible for the protection of civilians, in particular children, in conflict situations and must give priority to the best interest of the child in all its affairs. These fundamental responsibilities, assured to children, require the guns to be silenced immediately. We also call on the international community, most notably the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF. Children who are victims of armed conflicts, like those previously experienced in the Balkans and now in Turkey and the whole Middle East, reveal a reality to the world: the whole UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in particular Article 38, is suspended, not only in wars, but in all armed conflict situations. In the current situation, we invite the international community, in particular the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and UNICEF, to send, without delay, an observer delegation to areas where armed operations take place so as to prevent child deaths, to encourage the State to announce the expected precautions to be taken in compliance with Article 38 of the Convention and to urgently organise a conference in order to engage the attention of the relevant regional states concerning the necessary precautions needed in conflict situation.

 

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