Risk of child trafficking in the disaster area of Western Armenia

  • by Western Armenia, March 23, 2023 in Society

The condition of the children who survived the earthquake in Western Armenia is different. Some children lost their parents and some had to migrate to other regions. Within the framework of the “Children’s Rights Protection Movement”, some non-governmental organizations provide psychological and social support to the children of the region.

However, this is not enough, as the relevant bodies of the Turkish authorities do not cooperate with non-governmental organizations based on human rights protection. The government does this work mainly with religious and conservative organizations. This is a big problem in terms of children’s rights. In addition, there are also vulnerable groups that have difficulties in accessing rights and freedom, to which, unfortunately, the state administration does not show an appropriate approach.

Children who have lost their parents and still cannot find them should be under the protection of the State. In this process, the state should focus on family reunification, which it should do consistently, based on the protection of the rights of the child. However, children who have lost their parents and relatives have started to be placed under the protection of the Turkish government. In this process, some strange situations have emerged, such as the placement of children in religious institutions. The Ministry of Family and Social Services is also aware of this. The placement of children in religious institutions and the transfer of the responsibility of care from the state to these institutions is a serious problem. It is a violation of the rights of the child.

As is well known, the risk of child trafficking increases in such crisis situations around the world. The Turkish government should have considered this risk and taken precautions against it. We are not sure that this is being done properly. For example, we still do not know whether there are trafficked children among those identified as “missing children”, but the competent authorities have a duty to find out.