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20 November- Universal Children’s Day

On 20th of November 1989, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was opened for signature and in a record time, it entered into force within a year. The Convention, which was a revolution for children at that time for it recognized the child as an individual with agency and rights, is the most accepted human rights treaty with 196 states ratifying it.

This Convention is now 26 year old! It has created huge differences in lives of children, in how children are viewed and valued as experts in their own rights.

The Convention, with contributions from the Turkish Republic during its 10-year preparation process, clearly defines civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children. Following are the main guidelines of the Convention:

  • Children have a right to protection from all forms of harm,
  • Children have a right to support in exercising their rights,
  • Children have a right to participate in decisions concerning them,
  • The States parties have an obligation to protect the best interest of children in all decisions
  • Prohibition of discrimination against and among children,
  • The States parties have an obligation to make social and financial investments for children to the maximum extent of their available resources.

The Convention entered into force for Turkey upon ratification in 1995. Despite progresses for children in Turkey after acceptance of the Convention, there are still a long way to go for Turkey to have its most vulnerable citizens to enjoy their rights in full.

In helping all children enjoy their rights in full, the International Children’s Center has carried out its work for 66 years worldwide and for 16 years in Turkey.

Within the framework of Human Rights Programme of ICC, we have produced following outputs in Turkey:

  • We have prepared approximately 100 publications and videos, so that we shall proceed in the light of child rights law and the latest knowledge available. You may access to these publications from (mostly Turkish) and videos from (Turkish and English)
  • We have been supporting a number of networks in child rights in order to have richer and stronger voice for and with children.
  1. Strengthening existing networks for child rights - linking international to national and local
  2. Partnership Network for Preventing Violence Against the Child (PNPVAC)
  3. Network Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (NCSEC)   
  4. Be Children’s Deputy at the Parliament
  •  We support the formation of Child Advisory Group consisting of children, and their work, so that children shall directly affect our work.
  1. Helping prevent sexual abuse and exploitation of children, One in Five Campaign with Council of Europe
  2. Violence against Children Monitoring Map
  3. Child Rights with Games

Happy birthday Convention on the Children Rights! We will continues to work under your light until all children enjoy their rights…

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International Children's Center, Bilkent University, Main Campus, Library Building, 06800, Bilkent, Ankara, Turkey
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