The Human Rights Association (IHD) in Turkey has issued a statement highlighting the ill treatment, sexual abuse and rape of children in prisons in Van, Şakran, Pozantı and Sincan and called for children’s rights to be protected.
The IHD said despite Turkey being a signatory to international conventions, children were suffering abuse on a daily basis in penal establishments in the country. The IHD statement also recalled that children had been shot dead on the street in Cizre, Şırnak, Mardin and Siirt in the first weeks of 2015.
The IHD called for the following demands to be implemented:
- Turkey must take immediate steps to ensure rights for children enshrined in international agreements are implemented fully.
- Reservations inserted by Turkey into the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) must be removed.
- A system of justice of the standard envisaged in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, the Beijing Rules, should be introduced.
- Measures should be taken in line with the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention).
- Effective investigative processes should be put in place to deal with crimes committed against children and sentences should be of a deterrent nature.
- All prisons and other institutions in which children are currently being held should be opened up to inspection by human rights organisations and civil society organisations.