OPEN LETTER FOR PUBLIC OPINION

  

 

OPEN LETTER FOR PUBLIC OPINION

 

 

 

Last week, news of three cases about sexual abuse of children within their families had sobering effect on the public. It showed that children are even under risks within their families. However, women organizations, which have been forced to inaction under state of emergency conditions, have long been warning public opinion: families are not as safe as they are believed to be!

 

 

Dear President,

 

We could not get any response from your part to our open letters including the one about religious leaders’ authorization for performing a marriage ceremony. Prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children necessitates political will to end it. We, as civil society organizations working for women and children, repeat one more time our demands:

 

·         The parliamentary commission to monitor children’s right should become a permanent commission. A    new structuring should be introduced within the Ministry for Family and Social Policies under the title “guarding officers for children” for advocacy.

·         Necessary amendments should be introduced in the constitution and laws in line with Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) in particular with articles from 18 to 24.

·         International Agreements, particularly Istanbul Convention signed and ratified by Turkey should be implemented in complete.

·         A separate statistical data, and a registration system should be introduced to protect children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.

·         The perpetrators of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children should be systematically monitored to prevent re-committal of a similar crime.

·         Campaigns like one in five campaign of Council of Europe to increase awareness about sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children should be introduced by the Ministry for Family and Social Policies and the Ministry of Education in cooperation with civil society organizations. The campaigns should target children starting from early childhood, parents, professionals working in child care and education, and working with children.

·         Gender Equality and sexual and reproductive health should be included in schools’ curricula.

·         Epidemiological studies that determine risk factors, reveal cases and their prevalence considering time and geography should be promoted to make effective policies to end sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.

·         Rehabilitation for children who are the victims of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse should be made obligatory under the law.  

·         Particular policies should be introduced to prevent early marriages, which is a tool of sexual abuse, especially of girls.

·         Good conduct time should not be considered for perpetrators of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. The practice of impunity should be immediately given up.

·         Cooperation between civil society organizations, judiciary, legislature, health institutions and personnel, and law enforcement agencies should be strengthened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TKDF, as a civil society organization that have spent the last 10 years investigating incest relationships in Turkey, was threatened, pointed as a target in daily newspapers, and was lynched when it made the necessary warning regarding children’s sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. When the association resorted to jurisdiction against those newspaper, applications were refused. However, we got numerous calls from people who demanded leadership to raise their voices, show their reactions against the incidents that happened a few days ago: the rape of a three-year old girl, father’s systematic rape of his four and half years old daughter, rape and murder of 17-years of girl. 

 

We raise our voices against them! We raise our voices for our demands! We summon public to take action against these incidents.

 

Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children are our country’s shame. Women organizations have been working for long years for a society that does not ignore sexual crimes.

 

As TKDF, we will continue to follow the court cases. We demand from decision makers to fight against these crimes without taking it to populist discussions of “death penalty.”

 

Sincerely,

Canan GÜLLÜ

President of TKDF

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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