Call of the ‘Peace for children now’ initiative!
24.08.2016 15:13 BİRGÜN DAİLY

ASLINUR ÖZÇAKIR

Made up of 135 institutions as signatories, the representatives of the campaign of ‘Peace for children now’ have stated that although children had no responsibility or sides in the ongoing wars, their lives were jeopardized and taken away the most.

During a recent press conference, Ezgi Koman from Gündem Çocuk Derneği (Gündem Children’s Association) and Adnan Vural from İHD’s (Human Rights Association of Turkey) Children’s Rights Commission have underlined that at least 134 children lost their lives just within the past year (since 5 July 205); and, that 48 of them were victimized at suicide bomb attacks.

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Koman reminded that these children lost their lives while walking on the street; waiting at a bus stop; walking around with their families on vacation sites; not being able to go to hospitals in places under curfews; being held in their mothers’ arms; going to Peace Meeting with their fathers; and, most recently, while having fun at a wedding ceremony.

‘They only condemned it!’
Noting that during the latest suicide bomb attack at a wedding ceremony (henna night) in Antep, Koman said: “We saw that the authority figures in decision-making mechanisms and those that hold the key political roles have just repeated the same old condemnations.”

Expressing that condemnation in itself has no use in actually doing something, Koman underlined that the officials have not taken any steps to protect and better the lives of children.

‘They hide behind the label of ‘child’ suicide bomber’
Adnan Vural from İHD’s Children’s Rights Commission said: “The latest point is absolutely perilous and unacceptable for us, as defenders of children’s rights, not only because as some people assert – without shame – that the ‘war has reached a stage where children kill children’ but rather because adults have bogged down so greatly and deeply that they ‘use’ children to kill children and that the responsible adults have now been trying to hide behind the label of ‘child suicide bomber’ and prefer to put this label up front in order to cover up their responsibilities.”

‘’Çocuklar için barış hemen şimdi’’ ‘’Çocuklar için barış hemen şimdi’’

‘We could not protect the child suicide bomber, either’
Pointing out that the number of children who lost their lives in the recent suicide bomb attack in Antep is not 32 but rather 33, Vural emphasized the child suicide bomber was also among the children whose lives could not be protected by the State.

Saying that adults, who are responsible for protecting the lives of children, must immediately start working on establishing peace, Vural stated that as the activists and advocates of the ‘Peace for children now’ campaign they are calling on all parts of the society without an exception to step up on this!

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‘Peace for Children Now Initiative’ is a civic children’s rights campaign launched more than a year ago and supported by 135 signatories, made up of NGOs, unions, trade bodies, academicians, artists, MPs, journalists, women’s rights groups, LGBTİ, and political parties, in order to draw attention, address, and find prompt protective and healing measures for children both in war-ravaged regions and everywhere else.