HDP MP Kaçmaz says that “it would be a dream to expect political power holders to observe the best interest of the child given that they cannot even comprehend that it is child abuse to listen and laugh at a child made to speak at a rally in taught words”.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Child Commission held a press conference at the Parliament yesterday (February 2). Şırnak MP Hüseyin Kaçmaz addressed the reporters on behalf of the Commission.
The conference was also attended by HDP Party Assembly member Nuray Türkmen, Education and Science Laborers Union (Eğitim-Sen) Secretary for Women Simge Yardım, Adnan Vural from the Human Rights Association and Medeni Gür from the Van Bar Child Rights Commission.
Addressing the reporters, HDP MP Kaçmaz also talked about the incident where a 10-year-old child was given the microphone by President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at an opening ceremony in Trabzon at the weekend and made to insult main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Offering a general overview of the state of child rights in Turkey, HDP’s Hüseyin Kaçmaz said, “Children are one of the groups most severely affected by the current economic, political, social and cultural crises in Turkey. The mindset that does not consider children to be social subjects undoubtedly disregards the aggrievements that they are subjected to, too.”
As “the most recent example” of this disregard, Kaçmaz referred to “the child who was made to speak in taught words at a rally and the attitudes of political figures who listened to his remarks in laughter”.
“It would be a dream to expect that the political power holders, who cannot even comprehend that this method is child abuse, observe the best interest of the child,” said Hüseyin Kaçmaz, adding:
“We expect the current government to develop or introduce policies for the good of neither oppressed peoples nor children.”
Cases of child abuse
Further in his speech, HDP Şırnak MP Kaçmaz referred to the ruling AKP and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP):
“The steps taken by the AKP/MHP government to make children’s problems invisible indicate that they are far from taking protective measures or fulfilling their responsibilities for children. That the incidents of child abuse are gradually increasing, there are attempts to end co-education, which is extremely important for the healthy development of children, and there are several steps such as the legislation paving the way for early marriages are expression of the fact that children’s rights are disregarded, or more precisely, destroyed by the government itself in Turkey.”
Referring to Bekir Bozdağ, who has recently been appointed as the Justice Minister by President and AKP Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, HDP’s Kaçmaz recalled that Bozdağ made remarks citing “the child’s consent as a reason for sentence reductions in abuse cases.”
Against this backdrop, Kaçmaz noted that “the current practices of the government and the messages it gives to society regarding its attitude towards this issue indicate that all rights of children are threatened.”
‘They are fundamental subjects of society’
Raising concerns about sexual abuse as “the harshest form of abuse of children,” the MP underlined:
“That incidents of abuse especially take place in state institutions, schools and dormitoies openly and clearly necessitates facing this issue. Every single state institution is an interlocutor of this act of facing!
“If the Ministry of National Education stands on the side of the perpetrator of abuse, not that of the child, in incidents of abuse at schools, this means that the truth is covered up. The institutions of this government are obliged to explain to this society and children why it decides that [the perpetrator] should remain in office or is mostly promoted in such a way to disregard the life of the child who was subjected to abuse.”
Concluding his remarks, HDP Şırnak MP Hüseyin Kaçmaz said:
“As children are always considered to be subjects to be interfered with, no permanent Parliamentary commission on children has been established to develop structural solutions for the structural problems that they face. Because it has not even occurred to them. Just to make do with it, a sub-commission has been established under the roof of the Human Rights Investigation Commission. Children are not a community to make do with; they are one of the fundamental subjects of this society.”
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