How is UNICEF helping?
Under the 2011-2015 County Programme Action Plan (CPAP) with Turkey, UNICEF will continue to work with the government in the areas of child survival and health, education, protection and participation. However, the Country Programme will have a new emphasis on addressing child poverty, on pre-primary education and on meeting the needs of the 14-18 age group – both in and out of secondary education.
The Country Programme has been drawn up with two overriding goals in mind:
1. Disparity Reduction, Social Inclusion and Protection; and
2. Youth Empowerment and Protection
Child poverty and social inclusion: UNICEF and the government will work towards the implementation of national policies and strategies to combat child poverty and the creation of increased fiscal space for children and families. National and local authorities will make use of the results of research into child poverty, the existing social protection system and budget allocation and expenditure for children in order to plan, budget and monitor the effectiveness of resource allocations targeting child poverty and social inclusion.
Quality Primary education: Turkey has made great progress in enrolment and gender parity in primary education, but non-attendance is still a problem, especially among girls. Ensuring the completion of quality primary education and transition to secondary education is critical.
Strenghtening Pre-School Education: UNICEF will support behaviour and system change — including the provision of diversified and quality day care and preschool education services and programmes— needed to increase the numbers of girls and boys participating in quality preschool education. With the support of EU funds and under the cooperation of MoNE, the project aims to contribute to improve the enrolment and attendance of disadvantaged children and their families to child day-care and pre-school education.
Child Protection: UNICEF will continue to support the government (a) to develop a model to consolidate and integrate services, and (b) to strengthen child care services for children living away from their parents, including the development and monitoring of child care standards.The goal is to move towards a functioning preventive and protection system for children at risk of all kinds of discrimination, violence, abuse and exploitation.
Early Childhood Development and Care (ECCD): In view of the importance of ECCD for improving the prospects of children born into disadvantaged communities and families, UNICEF will support the integration of ECCD - including the early identification of development difficulties and disability – into the health care system, so that all children are protected from all of the risk factors associated with early child development.
Child rights monitoring: Child rights monitoring systems will be strengthened, including the child rights monitoring committee of the parliament and the possible establishment of a children’s ombudsperson.
National youth policy: With 17.5% of its population between 10 and 19 years of age, Turkey needs a comprehensive national youth strategy. UNICEF will assist the government in drawing up a national youth policy to meet the needs and secure the rights of young people, including their personal and social development, and will work to ensure its effective implementation through a national youth agency. The participation of young people in decisions affecting themselves will be the guiding principle and aim of these efforts.
Secondary education: UNICEF will extend its support for the government in the field of education at the secondary level. A key aim will be to ensure access to secondary education for girls, for disadvantaged children and for children in provinces where secondary school enrolment rates are low. Attention will be paid not only to enrolment but also to preventing non-attendance and drop-outs. Work will be conducted to improve the alignment of vocational education with labour market needs. This is expected to increase participation in secondary education as well as to prepare young people for work.
Protection/Justice for children: UNICEF and the government will continue to cooperate on juvenile justice reform, to bring justice for children, fully in line with international standards and the Child Protection Law. Currently, children often spend long periods in detention pending trial. It is important to ensure that all children who go on trial are tried in child courts, and that child courts make use of alternative measures and only use imprisonment as a last resort. An individualised rehabilitation system will be put in place for children kept in custody.
Please click on the link to read the full 2011-2015 country programme
In countries like Turkey, which has a large economy and strong institutions, UNICEF does not have a large presence “on the ground” but concentrates instead on contributing to the formulation of child-related policies and implementation models. To this end, UNICEF advocates for legislative and systems change, cooperates with a large number of partners, and promotes coordination between partners. Technical support may be provided to the government in areas such as: data collection and analysis; monitoring and evaluation systems, and the development of replicable child-friendly models to deliver services to children.
The generation and dissemination of knowledge, raising public awareness, promotion of policy debate and mobilisation of resources for the realization of children’s and women’s rights and youth are integral parts of the country programme. UNICEF and its partners aim to stimulate support, encourage complementary efforts and enhance the abilities of duty-bearers and rights-holders to claim and realize children’s rights.
The country programmeis conducted with a view to ensuring social inclusion, respect for human rights, gender equality, awareness of climate change, emergency preparedness and the active involvement of children and young people. The experience gained will be documented and shared with other countries.
UNICEF’s main partner in Turkey is the Government of Turkey, including a large number of government ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Justice, the State Planning Organisation and the General Directorate for Social Services and the Child Protection Agency. UNICEF also partners with the Parliament, local government, universities and research institutions, civil society and other international organizations including the European Union and the World Bank, the media and with children and adolescents themselves. In addition to a Country Office, which deals with programme operations, there is also a National Committee for UNICEF in Turkey which concentrates on fundraising. Among the 150 countries in which UNICEF operates, Turkey is the only country that has both a national committee and a country office.
How can you help?
Read more about our programmes and projects in this section — and please bear in mind that UNICEF is the only United Nations agency that relies exclusively on donations from private sector organisations and individuals to support our activities. Contact the Turkish National Committee for UNICEF today and find out how you can help us make a difference in Turkey.