'We, children will continue to die until the war stops’’
- 12:19 19 November 2019
ADANA - The 20th of November is the World Children's Rights Day, millions of children have been displaced due to wars and millions are being exposed to hunger. Yusuf who has to live and work face to face with poverty said "We have to bring bread to our house even if we are children. Until the war stops, we will continue to die and starve".
The United Nations (UN) accepted November 20 as “World Children's Rights Day’’ in 1989 against discrimination and rights violations of children worldwide. November 20 is the day of the fight against rights violations to which children are exposed, while children are still vulnerable to poverty, war, and violence. We asked the children, who were forced to shoulder the heavy consequences of poverty and war.
‘Just because we are Syrians, they did not let us in’
Five years ago ISIS attacked Aleppo which caused a lot of migrations and Yusuf, a median of 8 brothers from Syria, works in a shop counter in Seyhan since then. ‘’Even though our lives were not very good, it was better than what we have been experiencing now’’ Yusuf said. ‘’We have to work now. I went to school when I first came, but there was too much racism, they excluded us and we felt very upset. Just because we are Syrians, they did not let us in. Even the teachers ignored us. We have to work every day from 07.00 in the morning to 23.00 at night. The most difficult part of working is to work with substances such as thinner and glue. Even if we are kids, we have to bring bread to our house. As the war continue, we children will continue to die and starve. ”
‘I want to be with my friends, not work ’
Ahmet is 14 and says “If the war stops now I’ll go back to Rojava and go to school there.’’ Ahmet came from Afrin and said that he wanted to go to school instead of working and be with his friends. “I work 12 hours a day. When I go home, I wash my hands, eat, and then go to bed. Then I restart in the morning. I have no choice but to work, my only dream is to become a shoe master and start my own business in my own land. ”
‘It would be much better to spend time with my friends on the streets’
Omar is 11 and has to work after school. Saying that he gives the money he gets to his mother ‘’my mother uses the money for my school expenses. I paint 6, 7 shoes a day. It's nice to be a kid, but it would be nice to spend time with my friends on the street, not having to work. ”
‘The number of migrant children has doubled’
The information shared by Miyesser Eraslan Önenli, Coordinator of the Adana Baro Association Children's Rights Commission, which collects data on child rights violations and carries out important studies, shows that the extent of the rights violations experienced by children is gradually increasing.
Stating that millions of children opened their eyes to the world and tried to grow up because of wars and immigration, Miyesser shared the following information in the UN and UNICEF reports: “28 million children are displaced. While only 12 million of these children are refugees the number is increasing day by day. More than half of the refugee children are deprived of the right to education, and tens of thousands are lost on the migration routes. While the number of migrant children has doubled in 10 years, the number of children affected by the war in Syria and Iraq alone is 14 million. Only in 2015, 96 465 of the children who applied for asylum in European countries are missing. Many of the missing children are commodities trafficking. In 2016, more than 63 thousand children reached Europe without any relatives, and since 2016, it was revealed that no one accompanied 5 thousand 174 out of 480 thousand children who crossed the Greek border.’’
’74 percent of children are deprived from education’
According to the Hacettepe University's Political Research Center on Migration and Syrians in Turkey Social Acceptance and Compliance report, 230 thousand children were born in Turkey since January 2017. According to this report, the number of school-age children is 968 thousand; 500 thousand of these children cannot attend school. About 74 percent of children who do not live in refugee camps are deprived of the right to education. Of the 75,000 school-age children living in the camps, 63 thousand are in school. The majority of these children are beaten by kidnappers and extortion gangs. In addition, it is estimated that approximately 20 percent of unlisted citizens from Syria are minors according to UNICEF. "
‘Millions of children are being exposed to hunger’
‘’Thousands of children are exposed to psychological and physical violence and millions of children who are unable to meet their most basic needs are being exposed to hunger. Thousands of children are still subjected to sexual, physical and psychological violence in every aspects of life. According to the report ‘UN Children and Armed Conflicts’ 15,500 children in various countries face shocking rights violations such as massacre and disability, being armed and being used as soldiers, and they lack access to humanitarian aid’’ said Miyesser. Miyesser also said, "The highest numbers of records are in Afghanistan. In Syria, the increase in the number of children under arms is at least 1 million 299 in one year, 1 million 340 children were killed in Somalia.’’