Women unionists call for respect of children’s rights

The Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DISK) Women’s Commission, Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK) Women’s Assembly, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) Women’s Working Group and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Women’s Medicine and Women’s Health Branch issued a joint statement on children’s rights on 23 April, children’s day in Turkey.

The statement drew attention to the fact that many child abusers have been released thanks to the law of execution approved by Parliament as part of the measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement said: “Child marriage means violating a child’s fundamental rights, stealing her life and darkening her hopes for the future. Marrying girls at an early age and often forcing girls to marry their rapists is unacceptable and goes against all international and ethical laws. Crimes of sexual abuse cannot be forgiven.”

Recalling the responsibilities of the state towards children, women unionists added: “The duty of the state is to prevent forced marriages of girls at an early age, to punish sexual abuse offenders and prevent them from happening. We will continue to struggle with determination in the face of all kinds of intervention in the violation of universal children’s rights, especially forced marriage at a young age.”