It was impossible to overlook the effects on children as the world saw the destruction caused by a major earthquake last week as it occurred in Türkiye and Syria. Pictures of young children being rescued from the remains of collapsed buildings highlighted the disaster’s catastrophic impact and raised important issues regarding children’s rights in emergency situations.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which affirms that all children have the right to life, survival, and the fullest possible development, safeguards the rights of children. The survival and development of children in the afflicted areas have certainly been significantly impacted by the earthquake. According to UNICEF, 4.6 million children in Türkiye and another 2.5 million children in Syria are live in affected areas.
Access to basic necessities like food, water, and shelter is one of the most important challenges affecting kids in the following of the earthquake. Families who have been evacuated and whose homes have been damaged by the earthquake are currently trying to satisfy their basic requirements, and children are frequently the most at risk. Several kids are reportedly now sleeping outside or living in improvised camps, which exposes them to the harsh weather conditions and makes them more prone to illness and injury.
The effects of the earthquake on children’s schooling are an additional worry. Children in the impacted communities no longer have access to education as a result of compulsory school closures. Due to the fact that education is a crucial element of long-term success, this not only has an impact on their current learning but also on their future development.
Finally, the earthquake has increased the chance that kids may be exploited and abused. There have already been allegations of child trafficking and child labor in the aftermath of the tragedy, and children who are separated from their families or who are living in crowded and unsafe situations are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.
Children’s rights must be prioritized as the recovery efforts in Syria and Türkiye proceed. This entails ensuring that all kids have access to needs like food, water, and shelter in addition to having access to education and being shielded from exploitation and abuse.
Efforts by organizations to help children and families devastated by the earthquake are ongoing, but much more needs to be done. As a global community, we have a responsibility to defend and advance children’s rights, particularly in times of need. We must do everything in our power to assist the children of Syria and Türkiye in the wake of this terrible earthquake because we cannot forget about them.
The Turkish government’s decision to approve foster family applications as temporary homes for little quake survivors shines a light in this sad scenario. With the e-Government platform, over 283,000 families have already requested permission from the Ministry of Family and Social Services to welcome homeless children into their homes.
You can find more information about the earthquake at the following links: