A large number of minors in Turkey have been the subject of human rights violations and discrimination in the last year, according to a recent report by the country’s Human Rights Association (IHD).
The report on the violation of minors’ rights was published on the occasion of November 20, World Children’s Day, and documented rights violations between 2022 and 2023.
According to the report minors, especially in southeastern provinces, experienced problems with the security forces. Nineteen cases of police mistreatment of Kurdish youngsters were documented. A total of 191 minors were detained during the year, while three were arrested.
Furthermore, four Kurdish minors died due to gross negligence, and three were killed in clashes with security forces. Three were severely injured after being run over by armored vehicles, while one child died.
The killing of civilians by military vehicles is common in Turkey’s Southeast, where there is a heavy military presence due to ongoing clashes between the Turkish military and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Three children died after landmines left by security forces in fields exploded. Landmines can still be found near Turkey’s southeastern borders with Syria and Iraq, despite the fact that Turkey was obliged to destroy all anti-personnel mines in areas under its jurisdiction or control by March 1, 2014 according to the Ottawa Treaty for the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction, known informally as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which Turkey ratified on March 1, 2004.
The report also found that disabled children across the country faced systemic discrimination and problems accessing education. Moreover, more than 1 million children cannot attend school regularly because they have to work.
Despite the high number of children in the labor force, security measures against occupational hazards are woefully lax.
According to a report by the Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG) a total of 888 child workers have died in work-related accidents since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002.