One in three children in Turkey lives in poverty: UNICEF

One-third of children in Turkey are living in poverty, the Artı Gerçek news website reported, citing the latest child poverty report released by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

Titled “Child Poverty in the Midst of Wealth,” the report examined child poverty in 43 high and middle-income countries that are member states of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) or the European Union.

With a child poverty rate of 33.8 percent, Turkey was ranked second worst after Colombia for the 2019-2021 period that the report based its data on.

The report also detailed the proportional change in the rates over a seven-year period, comparing the 2019-2021 data with that of 2012-2014. Turkey’s child poverty rate was found to have increased by 1.5 percent, dropping its ranking from 28 to 38.

Turkey was also among the lowest-spending countries in 2019 in terms of expenditure on child and family benefits as the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), with only 2.9 percent of GDP per capita allocated for each child.

Since 2012 Turkey has received millions of migrants from neighboring Syria, most of whom were granted temporary protection status. The situation of migrant children is often described as precarious, and several reports have documented the problems related to their access to education.

Labor rights groups regularly report the deaths of migrant children who were forced to work in dangerous jobs.

A post-coup purge carried out by the government after a July 2016 coup attempt has also presumably contributed to child poverty by incarcerating thousands of parents, including former civil servants summarily dismissed from their positions and people from almost all walks of life, on political grounds.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have described the situation of former civil servants as “civil deaths,” as the decree-laws that enabled the purges also brought severe restrictions on the victims’ access to the job market in the private sector.

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!