B - Capacity Building and Networking
Being a catalyst in relationships amongst stakeholders for the best interests of the child is one of the main objectives of ICC’s Child Rights Program. Therefore, networking and capacity building on child rights has been one of its main goals. Since the establishment of the Program, ICC has been supporting the development of NGO capacities and undertaking projects to this end. ICC continues to provide expertise and opportunities for NGOs and other stakeholders’ capacity building and networking through such activities as meetings, symposia, publications including translated legal and policy guides, written statements to intergovernmental organizations, and reports.
• Justice for Children: Towards a Paradigm Change
Grounded in the need for a holistic child justice system in Turkey and an understanding that justice for children does not cover only administration of juvenile justice but also issues of discrimination based on age such as legal defenses for violence against children and underrepresentation of children in matters of democratic governance, ICC and the Human Rights Joint Platform (HRJP) have been cooperating since 2009 in the area of justice and children. In 2010, they agreed to work closer to mobilize child rights and human rights organizations to initiate a process leading to a “paradigm change” in the public administration and in the society in protection of children.
With a project funded by the Dutch Matra Funds, the two organizations, with the involvement of the Ankara Child Rights Platform, have undertaken a number of activities to achieve this objective:
• Four awareness-raising meetings were held with strategic partners and target groups such as the Ministry of Justice, Child Services Agency, Ministry of Education, and parliamentarians. Thus far, around 186 persons were reached with these awareness-raising meetings.
• A generic child rights programming training handbook was developed with the involvement of an internationally renowned expert, Peter Dixon. An initial pilot training was provided to 15 participants from the NGO sector, Ministry of Education and Eskisehir Municipality. As a result, the Ministry of Education requested three similar training sessions for the Ministry’s in-service training program in 2012.
The Eskisehir Municipality also requested child rights and child rights programming training for the Municipality personnel in 2012.
• Three research projects were undertaken, one on administration of juvenile justice, one on situation of children in conflict with the law, and one literature review to understand how childhood and children are seen in the justice system. A Report combining the findings of these projects will be published in 2012.
Three leaflets and three policy notes on age discrimination, justice for children and child friendly justice as well as a draft framework law to facilitate discussion amongst the NGO community and policy makers will be the outcomes of the project in 2012.
• Ankara Child Rights Platform
As a part of its capacity building strategic objectives, CRP has been instrumental in developing and strengthening networks. To achieve its objectives, ICC has been involved in the creation and development of the Ankara Child Rights Platform (hereinafter ACRP or Platform) from its very beginning.
As a founding member of the Platform, ICC serves as its secretariat, runs the website of ACRP and supports its advocacy initiatives.
In 2010-2011, with extensive support from ICC, the Platform organized the following activities:
Participation in the 20th Anniversary Conference of the CRC in Geneva and in Florence.
• Organizing a series of lobbying meetings on 20 November World Child Rights Day, taking 20 children to the Turkish Parliament in cooperation with an NGO called Network to Combat Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. All the political party group leaders and the Minister for Health were visited, legal and policy shortcomings of the implementation of the CRC were reiterated and a call to support for a child rights legal and policy agenda was made to the policy makers.
• A delegation from the Platform visited the Ministry of Justice a number of times in 2010 to convey concerns regarding the situation of children in conflict with the law and the administration of juvenile justice.
• Another delegation briefed the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Thomas Hammarberg, on the situation of children in conflict with the law in May 2010.
• ICC represented the Platform and delivered a speech at a session in the Turkish Parliament on the importance of children’s participation in democratic decision making processes. The session was organized by the Turkish Association of Legislation and the Turkish Parliament on the theme “civil society participation in the legislative process.”
Other activities of the Platform that ICC facilitated include:
• Campaign to End Violence against Children
• Civil Voices Festival
• Child rights programming training by Save the Children Sweden
Website of the Platform: www.ankaracocukhaklari.org
• NGO Network to Combat Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)
With support from a partnership of ECPAT International and ICC, an NGO network to combat CSEC was formally established in 2010. ICC acts as the secretariat and office of the network made up of 33 strong NGO partners all around Turkey. ICC also hosts the website of the CSEC Network (www.ctcs-mucadele.net). ICC was accepted as the lead agency in 2011 by the ECPAT International, and the CSEC NGO Network in Turkey joined the international network. In 2010 and 2011 it ran the following activities:
• Organization of a discussion panel on
19 November 2010, World Day for Prevention of Abuse and Violence against Children with Hacettepe University Public Health Institute.
• Turkish translation of ECPAT International’s “Child Safe Organization: Self-Study Manual”.
• Preparation of awareness-raising materials such as brochures, posters and t-shirts.
• Three strategic planning meetings in 2010 and 2011 in Ankara and Istanbul.
• Provision of expert trainers for training organized by the International Migration Organization (IOM), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Justice.
• Contribution to the Report of the Turkish Parliament’s Investigation Commission on Missing Children and Children’s Rights in 2010.
• Contribution to the project on prevention of early marriages run by the Flying Broom Women’s Rights Association.
• A review of the literature on the situation of child trafficking for sexual purposes in 2011. Its report will be published in 2012.
• Child Rights Education for Professionals: CRED-PRO
Over the past two decades, the relevance of children’s rights to the health and well being of children has achieved global acceptance. The translation of these principles and those of health equity into professional practice has become recognized as necessary to affect the vision we all have of children throughout the world. This is particularly true for child health professionals who play a critical role in the lives of children and families.
Toward this end, ICC and Child Rights Education for Professionals (CRED-PRO) cooperated from 2006 until the end of 2009 for the region of Commonwealth of Independent States and South East Europe (CIS/SEE) to address knowledge needs for participants to learn from one another through the exchange of information related to the status of children’s rights to health in eight countries in the region.
ICC and CRED-PRO decided to focus their efforts on single countries in the region starting with Turkey in order to identify sustainable strategies to train health professionals using the Child Rights and Children’s Health curriculum from 2010-2012.
For this reason, the international generic Child Rights and Children’s Health curriculum was translated into Turkish. Upon translation of the curriculum, ICC invited interested national partners in Turkey to join in the adaptation process of the curriculum. The Turkish National Pediatric Society, Social Pediatrics Society and Turkish Nurses Society joined ICC to form CRED-PRO Health Turkey.
After this initial process, a number of meetings were held in 2010 and 2011 at ICC for adaptation of the curriculum.
The Turkish Ministry of Health integrated children’s rights into its international training programs for CIS region countries and ICC provided three training sessions throughout 2011 to the participants from the region.
ICC and CRED-PRO collaborated in several international and national meetings as a part of their awareness-raising efforts. Some of these efforts were as follows:
1. ICC actively participated in a Child Rights in Practice (CRIP) Conference in Whistler, Canada, in 2009 with
• A poster presentation on child rights indicators in early childhood
• A workshop on child rights indicators in early childhood
• A presentation on findings of an online survey about CRED-PRO’s global activities
2. Presentation on CRED-PRO at the 5th National Mother-Child Health Congress in Gaziantep in 2009
3. Preparation and maintenance of website Global Alliance for Children’s Rights and Health Equity: www.allianceforchildrensrights.org
4. Consultations on health services with children in hospital in 2010 together with Hacettepe University Children’s Hospital
5. In collaboration with ESSOP Board Member Tony Waterston, ICC conducted an online survey regarding awareness of children’s rights among health professionals before the European Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ESSOP) Congress in 2010. The findings of the survey were presented in the Congress. As a result, ESSOP decided to cooperate with ICC in applying for funding for a project to address the knowledge needs of social pediatricians in the field of children’s rights and social determinants of health.
6. CRED-PRO presentations at International Public Health Congresses in 2010 and 2011
• Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online
Since 2010, ICC has been involved in the European Union’s Internet Safety Program. ICC participated in both the 4th and 5th “Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online” International Conferences held in Warsaw in 2010 and 2011.The Conference was organized by the Polish (Nobody’s Children Foundation and NASK) and German (klicksafe) Safer Internet Centers, established within the European Commission’s Safer Internet Program.
Inspired by these conferences, ICC worked with Bilkent University and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in developing websites for children to learn their rights online in an interactive and fun way as well as creating their own content, therefore creating a safe space for children to use the internet. Websites are both English and Turkish:
Bilkent University students also provide information and training on how to use the internet safely to the members of the Children’s Advisory Group, which in turn give conferences in their schools on the same topic to their peers.
ICC continued participating in similar events in Turkey around Safe Internet Day 9 February 2011 and Child Internet Safety Europe Conferences to contribute to the protection activities by highlighting children’s right to participation in their own protection.
As a result of these efforts, ICC was invited to join the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO). The only member from Turkey, ICC will work within the Alliance to transfer knowledge and experience from its European counterparts to children in Turkey from 2012 onward.
• Prevention of Domestic Violence against Children
Supported by the European Union, ICC is working with two Turkish foundations, “Genç Hayat” and The Children of Our Future in Istanbul from August 2011-August 2012 to highlight to NGOs in Turkey what a child rights advocacy project should look like by demonstrating it in the field of prevention of violence against children.
The project first stresses the importance of producing evidence through internationally accepted research, then using this research to inform awareness raising and lobbying activities. All activities of the project are screened and assessed independently from a child right impact perspective.
ICC is responsible for the impact assessment and policy advocacy and lobbying sections of the project.
The project used the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) ICAST research tool, which was utilized for the UN World Report on Violence against Children (UNVAC). With this research tool 50 primary schools in Istanbul
with a total of 450 students (age12-14) were reached.
A policy note will be prepared by ICC to be presented in a panel to NGOs in the field. The policy note will be open to signatures for NGOs and it will be used to lobby law and policy makers at the Turkish Parliament to act to ban violence against children in Turkey and to run a public awareness campaign to help convey the message: violence against children is indefensible, unacceptable and preventable.