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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceThe Committee expresses deep concern about the reports of ill-treatment and torture of children, especially Kurdish children who have been involved in political assemblies and activities, in prisons, police stations, vehicles and on the streets. It is particularly concerned about the number of allegations of children killed in the South-eastern and Eastern regions and the reported instances of suicide committed by children in detention.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and possibly penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

Turkey has not implemented many of the Committee's recent recommendations and must change this behaviour to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child in its territory. Nevertheless, progress has been made in the areas of birth registration, children in street situations, and education.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

While noting the State party’s efforts in combating gender-based violence, including “honour killings” and social pressure resulting in suicide, the Committee remains concerned that such practices continue and the significant number of victims are women, including girls. The Committee is also concerned about the insufficient number of shelters to host and protect women and children who are in danger of such practices. The Committee also recommends that the State party introduce a comprehensive system of data collection to obtain statistics on violence against women, including domestic violence and honour killings.

The Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive adolescent and reproductive health policy and take the necessary measures to educate children on reproductive health and the measures for preventing STDs. The Committee recommends that a multidisciplinary study be undertaken to understand the scope of adolescent health problems in the State party in order to be able to develop adequate policies and programmes.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee is concerned about the unavailability of education in languages other than Turkish and languages of recognized minorities, presenting educational disadvantages for children of non-recognized minorities whose mother tongue is not Turkish and therefore recommends to put in place a comprehensive monitoring system to evaluate access to schools by children of ethnic minorities.
Situation of children with disabilities

Despite the State party’s efforts to provide children with access to education, the Committee is concerned that a large number of school-age children with disabilities do not enjoy their rights to education, and a high percentage of children with disabilities remain in special education programmes. Furthermore, the Committee regrets that the State party did not provide sufficient information as to whether support for children with disabilities reaches children everywhere, whether such support is adequate and whether the goal of integrating children with disabilities into the community is sufficiently attained.
The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to ensure that children with disabilities fully enjoy their rights. The Committee also recommends that the State party further encourage inclusion and integration of children with disabilities in society and the regular educational system, respectively, including by providing special training to teachers and by making schools more accessible.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee recommends that the State party conduct an assessment of the challenges experienced by asylum-seeking and refugee children with regard to accessing health, education and social services, and urgently address such challenges.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee notes with concern that the State party has put in place extensive restrictions on children’s access to information on the Internet. While the Committee appreciates the measures taken by the State party to protect children from the potential harmful effects of information and communication via the Internet, it emphasizes that such measures should ensure that the right of the child to appropriate information is not restricted. While commending the State party for addressing the potential harmful effects of information and communication via the Internet, the Committee encourages the State party to ensure that policies and tools, such as filters to block certain information on the Internet, do not have a negative effect on the child’s right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through any media of the child's choice.
physical health

The Committee welcomes the significant progress made by the State party in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates, improving immunization coverage and children’s access to treatment with the introduction of the Green Card scheme. However, the Committee is concerned about the significant disparities in the rates of maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition and stunting, as well as neonatal care, between the western regions and the socio-economically least developed Eastern regions.
The Committee encourages the State party to eradicate regional disparities and address maternal and infant mortality targeting the Eastern regions of the country. It also recommends that the State party continue its efforts to eradicate malnutrition, especially stunting, as well as improve neonatal care with special emphasis on the Eastern regions.

Relation to other countries
Business sector

The Committee is concerned at the potential impact on children’s rights of the construction of the Ilisu and other dams, especially with regard to the negative effect on children and their families of forced evictions, resettlement and displacement, and other impacts on their cultural heritage and the environment. Therefore, the Committee recommends that Turkey ensure that impact assessments of human rights, including child rights, are conducted prior to the conclusion of trade agreements with a view to ensuring that measures are taken to prevent the occurrence of child rights violations.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to increase the number of professionals working in the juvenile justice system and take measures to provide incentives for lawyers to work on cases involving children. In addition, the Committee recommends that Turkey should expedite the investigation and trial process in cases involving children, so as to reduce the number of children in pretrial detention, as well as ensure enforcement of the amendments to the Counter-terrorism Law and ensure that children detained and charged under this law are provided with all basic legal guarantees. The Committee further recommends to investigate allegations of rape and ill-treatment of children in detention.

Specific observations

The Committee takes note of the significant progress made in improving birth registration rates in the country. However, it remains concerned that there are still a number of children who are not registered or not immediately registered, in particular in rural and disadvantaged areas of the Eastern regions as well as children of mothers who do not have formal education.
The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to ensure complete and immediate birth registration, in particular by improving birth registration systems, and providing information and raising awareness in rural areas of the Eastern regions and among mothers who do not have formal education.

The Committee notes with regret that several of these concluding observations have not been significantly addressed.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the second and third periodic reports released on 20 July 2012. The Committee reiterates its concern about the reservations to articles 17, 29 and 30 of the Convention.

Last Updated (date)23rd of February, 2022