At least 875 children die in preventable incidents in Turkey: Report

At least 875 children die in preventable incidents in Turkey: Report

At least 875 children die in preventable incidents in Turkey: Report


At least 875 children from across Turkey were killed in preventable incidents over the past year, a Turkish children’s rights organization has announced in its annual “Child’s Right to Life” report, calling on authorities to adopt holistic and rights-based policies on children’s rights.

The annual report prepared by the Gündem Çocuk Association, a rights group concerned with ensuring an equal and free life to all children, revealed that at least 875 children were killed due to negligence in 2015 – the highest figure since 2005, when the group prepared its first report.

“In 2015 as well, children lost their lives at home and in school due to insufficient physical safety measures; while riding their bicycles due to lack of cycling roads; during picnics by falling into water-covered pits due to lack of warning signs,” the association said in its press briefing. 

Gündem Çocuk kept a record of all children who died through the aforementioned period, including their age, city and cause of death, and provided a detailed account of children deaths across the country. 

According to the findings, the state was involved in the deaths of at least 103 children – including deaths caused by the negligence of state officials and civil servants. A total of 15 children died while receiving education and 11 while receiving healthcare services, while some 61 died in districts where round-the-clock curfews were declared for unspecified periods as part of anti-terror efforts against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeast.

On the other hand, some 772 children allegedly died due to the state’s failure to “fulfill its positive responsibilities” towards citizens over various incidents ranging from suicides to workplace fatalities – which account for some 88 percent of all deaths. 

Some 76 children were killed in work accidents, including 11 refugee children, the report said, while 26 were killed due to domestic violence, either by a member of their family or by one of their peers. At least 35 children died from committing suicide. 

The most common cause of death was traffic accidents, which killed 186 children last year, while 17 kids died while riding their bicycles. The second most frequent cause was identified as “incidents in urban and rural open air fields,”

Of the 875 children who died in preventable incidents last year, 102 were refugees, Gündem Çocuk underlined, adding the highest number of rights violations were committed in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır and Şırnak, in addition to the Aegean province of İzmir. 

“We know that the deaths of at least 875 children, whom we share with you today, could have been prevented,” the association said, adding that the only means to cope with this phenomenon is to adopt holistic policies on children’s rights while waging a persistent war against impunity.