Monday, December 10, 2007

More than a quarter of Turkish children living in poverty, says UNICEF


Reforms to the social security and health systems are important to counter child poverty, Pieters said.

ANKARA - More than a quarter of all Turkish children under the age of 15 live in poverty, according to a senior official of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Lila Pieters, the deputy representative of UNICEF in Turkey, said that 27.7 percent of Turkish children are living in poverty, with the country making little investment in children.

Speaking in an interview with the Anatolian News Agency, Pieters said that Turkey had one of the highest levels of children in its population, with 28.4 percent of the population under the age of 14.

While there had been progress in improving the health system, much still needed to be done to improve education, she said.
“There cannot be economic growth unless there is an educated population,” Pieters said.

Pieters said Turkey should start investing in children at an early age if it wants to raise the number of children attending the elementary schools and eliminate the disparity in number of girls and boys in these schools.

“It is very dramatic to see that girls are quitting school after 11, and this is the biggest violation of human rights for women,” she said.

It is a country’s wealth to have traditions and culture, but Turkey should work on programs in which women and men jointly participate, she said.

No comments: