A national reduction in violence in families with children 0 to 8 years of age
Estimates suggest the number of children aged 0 to 8 who witness violence in the family in Turkey is between 570,000 and 2.9 million. This type of violence is more likely to occur when parents have low levels of education and/or low levels of income. In addition to being witnesses, young children also experience family violence directly, as victims of harsh disciplinary practices and various other forms of abuse. Comprehensive statistics do not exist in Turkey, but individual studies suggest it is widely prevalent. One study of 16,000 children aged 4 to 12 found that 35% had experienced physical abuse.
Our strategy to address this issue is premised on the understanding that social norms are the main driver of the problem. For example, 25% of women aged from 15 to 49 years of age believe that a husband/partner is justified in beating his wife/partner under certain circumstances. At the same time, there is an increasing public debate about family violence, interest among Turkish NGOs and a formidable women’s movement. A major challenge is to find a positive way to engage men as allies, notably fathers and imams.
A reduction in child morbidity and malnutrition among children 0 to 6 years of age whose families subsist as seasonal migrant workers
Every spring, thousands of the poorest families in Turkey, mostly living in the east and southeast, start a process of migration to various agricultural areas in the west, south and north where they work as migrant farm workers for private landowners.
Typically poor and with low levels of education, seasonal migrants are one of the most disadvantaged groups in Turkey. They are not protected by labour laws and are often not paid a living wage. We estimate that 125,000 children migrate seasonally with their families, and their health suffers enormously. BvLF-funded research across nine camps found that young children were almost always sick and diarrhoea was rampant. These problems are rooted in poor physical conditions.
The European Union and the Office of the Turkish Prime Minister have both recently drawn attention to this situation, and BvLF can draw on experiences in other middle-income countries that deal with internal agricultural migration such as Mexico and Brazil.
Do you have comments on our goals in Turkey? Please contact our programme officer for Turkey, Marc Mataheru: email@example.com