The children killed in Gaza are also on the agenda of the 'International Symposium on Monitoring Children's Rights: Global Examples'.
President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated that "We see that there are many child deaths in the war right now. Last night, we learned that the hospital in Gaza was bombed. Elephants are fighting, but it is the children that suffer…"
Founding Chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission on Children's Rights Halide İncekara stated that "While I wanted to share all these good works with you with pride, I came across a genocide and this does not go one after another."
The 'International Symposium on Monitoring Children's Rights: Global Examples' organized by Üsküdar University was held at Nermin Tarhan Conference Hall.
The opening speeches of the 'Monitoring International Children's Rights: Global Examples Symposium' were made by President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan, UNICEF Türkiye Representative Paolo Marchi, Üsküdar University Rector Prof. Nazife Güngör, Üsküdar University Child Development Department Head Prof. Nurper Ülküer and Dr. Ziba Vaghri from the Global child Program at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.
The message of Chairperson of the Parliamentary Commission on Children's Rights Radiye Sezer Katırcıoğlu, who was a speaker at the symposium but could not attend, was read. Katırcıoğlu said: "Although I would like to participate in the symposium very much, our work on the general assembly of the Assembly continues intensively due to the child massacres in Palestine, our geography of hearts."
The issue of children's rights is understood as the right to protect children
President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated that the issue of children's rights is a misunderstood issue and understood as the right to protect children, and said that it is not clear whether the issue of children's rights is understood correctly by the society.
Drawing attention to the problems experienced in the mother-child, father-child relationship, Prof. Tarhan said: "The child is our child, but they do not belong to us, and they are not our slave. Seeing the mother-child, father-child relationship like the slave-master relationship is one of the mistakes made in children's rights."
Overprotectiveness raises children with low self-esteem
Prof. Tarhan explained that the child is not allowed to individualize and be the captain of their own ship, that invading mothers or fathers hover over children like helicopters, that overprotection raises children with low self-confidence, and that children develop dependency, not loyalty to the family.
Tarhan said that "The child will feel that they belong to the family and will feel free," and noted that an important issue in children's rights must be "the family should be an area of trust".
Prof. Tarhan also drew attention to whether there is emotional abuse or neglect in the family and said that when the parents work, a healthy relationship cannot be established between the parent and the child, and that no one replaces the mother in the life of the child between the ages of 0-3.
A mother cannot replace a psychologist…
Explaining that in some families, there are mothers and fathers who establish a distant relationship with the child even though they are in the same environment with the child, and that children grow up with emotional neglect, Tarhan noted that sometimes there can be a lot of criticism at home and every meal turns into a preach, and there is a problem between the mother and the child.
Prof. Tarhan said: "A mother cannot replace a teacher, and a mother cannot replace a psychologist. The mother will live the role of mother. The mother will not be like the captain, she will not be like the captain of the child's life, but she will be like the guide. The mother who will manage the child's life will be the reference point, will give an idea, and will leave the decision to the child."
Emphasizing the importance of teaching children that their mind should manage their emotions, Tarhan said that if this is not taught, prolonged adolescence is experienced and there are adults who behave like children who have reached the age of 30.
Stating that children who are given whatever they want will grow up badly, Tarhan noted that the aim of raising children should not be to raise happy children, but to prepare them for life.
Elephants are fighting, but it is the children that suffer...
Stating that "Another issue that harms children's rights is wars", Prof. Tarhan stated that the World Health Organization talks about 3 major dangers, which are global income inequality, climate change and human isolation.
Prof. Tarhan continued his remarks as follows: "Children pay the price of loneliness the most. Children are neglected and victimized. We also see that there are many child deaths in the war right now. Last night we learned that the hospital in Gaza was bombed. 500 people died. Civilians are dying. I could not help but draw attention to this issue at the symposium on children's rights. Elephants are fighting, but it is the grass that suffers. Children suffer. I am glad I have nuclear weapons. If there were no nuclear weapons in the world, there would be huge wars. The fear of nuclear weapons is stopping the great wars."
The conscience of the majority must step in...
Stating that war is not an option but a result, Tarhan said that "I think starting an artificial war called a preventive war and interfering with civilians in that region is one of the greatest evils done to humanity."
Tarhan said that if the conscience of the majority of the society in the world comes into play, the evil forces will feel the need to restrain themselves.
UNICEF Representative in Türkiye
UNICEF Representative in Türkiye Paolo Marchi explained that UNICEF has an obligation to monitor its rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Stating that they have responsibilities for monitoring the rights in the Convention, Marchi noted that they support countries in monitoring children's rights and that they also carry out projects in Türkiye.
Accepting the child as an individual and treating the child as an individual
Üsküdar University Rector Prof. Nazife Güngör stated that the emphasis on accepting the child as an individual and treating the child as an individual is very important, and continued as follows:
"Perhaps one of the important differences between developed and undeveloped societies arises right here. Accepting the child as an individual as soon as they are born, raising them as an individual with their spiritual and emotional structure, or raising them by saying 'you do not have the right to speak' in front of the elders, by pretending that they is immature and not an individual... In this case, the child will miss being the subject of life when they grow up."
The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been with us for 30 years...
Head of Üsküdar University Child Development Department Prof. Nurper Ülküer started her speech by thanking everyone who attended this important meeting regarding the realization of children's rights. Ülküer noted the following statements:
"The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been signed by almost all the countries of the world, has been with us for 30 years. For 30 years, this convention has repeatedly reminded us that the child is an individual along with the rights of the child.
Khalil Gibran says that ‘Children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of life who follow their own path.’ This is what the Convention on the Rights of the Child says. We see children as individuals who draw their own path, and we can only guide them on this path. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is not a protection or a necessity; however, it has brought us a perspective that we can see children as competent individuals. In other words, it has taken us from a need-based perspective to a rights-based perspective. This will be one of the most important messages of this meeting."
Reminding that the University of New Brunswick wanted to start a study as part of the Global Child program and started an initiative on what would be inspiring stories in the realization of children's rights, Ülküer explained that Üsküdar University is one of the five university members of this project.
Ülküer stated that "This project is for 5 years. For the first 2 years, we only worked on the criteria. There was the best interest of the child, equity, equality, ethics, and we worked on how we could find inspiring projects with all these. The first pilot study was conducted in North America. This is the first meeting of the steering committee. We are preparing to spread these studies all over the world and these studies will set an example for countries in terms of children's rights.".
It is necessary to be with the children
Dr. Ziba Vaghri from the Globalchild Program at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, pointing out the importance of children's rights in this 21st century, and said "Our planet is facing significant problems. There are many problems such as climate change, wars, food security. Children also face many problems. We need to be there for the children."
Dr. Ziba Vaghri said: "Your country and government have made commitments on the rights of children. These are the issues of free health and education... Even more important at the global level, the founding President of this country, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, declared April 23 as Children's Day. This is a great honor and an example."
Plaque presentation was made
At the symposium, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan presented plaques to Paolo UNICEF Representative in Türkiye Marchi and Former President of Oslo University and the United Nations Commission on the Rights of the Child Kirsten Sandberg.
At the symposium, the subject of "Children's Rights in Türkiye from Past to Present" was discussed
Those who made presentation in the symposium are as follows: Former President of the University of Oslo and the United Nations Commission on the Rights of the Child Kirsten Sandberg with the presentation titled "The Importance of Policies and Legal Frameworks in the Implementation of Children's Rights in the Context of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child" and Founding Chair of the Parliamentary Commission on Children's Rights Halide İncekara with the presentation titled "Children's Rights in Türkiye from Past to Present".
Halide İncekara: "I think we have the right to condemn the evil"
Founding Chair of the Children's Rights Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye Halide İncekara said that "I was planning to wear colorful clothes for today, but when I witnessed a genocide in the evening, I felt obliged to wear black. In fact, while I was looking into the eyes of all of you and wanting to share with you all the good works that have been done with hope, I came across a genocide and this is not going to happen."
İncekara also stated that she sometimes thinks, 'Are we working in vain with the struggle we have been doing for years, the speeches we have filled the halls, and the books we have published?' and continued as follows:
"There is a hope, I say where this persecution would have gone if we had not done these things. For this reason, we will continue to share good examples while all the bad examples are persistently before our eyes, and we have to. I think we have the right to stand on the side of the good and strengthen the good while condemning the evil.
We have seen the wars in Iraq and Syria, we have seen children fleeing wars. Let's forget about them, Ukraine is in front of our eyes. There, children still live in agony. Ukraine's wound is not over, and the genocide in Gaza has begun. I do not feel sad about human rights and children's rights if they will not leave the comfort zone of politics."
A session on Global Monitoring of Children's Rights was also held at the symposium
In the session titled Monitoring Children's Rights at the Global Level, monitored by Prof. Nurper Ülküer, Dr. Ziba Vaghri gave a presentation titled "Introducing the Global Children's Program: A Tool for Fulfilling Responsibilities Towards Children – The Importance of Supporting Countries to Collect Accurate Data in Monitoring Children's Rights". Representative of the Ministry of Family and Social Services gave a presentation titled "Presentation of the 2023-2028 National Children's Rights Strategy and Action Plan of Türkiye”, and Children’s Rights Lawyer Dr. Noam Peleg from the University of New South Wales, Australia, gave a speech on "Child's Right to Development and Monitoring – A Critical Approach".
Practices to Inspire the Realization of Children's Rights
In the session titled "Practices to Inspire the Realization of Children's Rights" at the symposium, those who made presentations are as follows: University of Florida, School of Medicine and the International Association of Social Pediatricians Prof. Jeffrey Gloghagen with the presentation titled "The Role of International Organizations in Promoting Children's Rights", Dr. Raul Mercer and Dr. Ziba Vaghri from the University of Flasco, Argentina with the presentation titled "Inspirights; Inspiring Good Practices on Children's Rights – Supporting Countries' CRC Practices at the Global Level", Dr. Leyla Namazova from the Eastern European Association of Pediatricians with the presentation titled "Supporting Children's Rights Practices in the Countries of the Eastern European Region", and Attorney Şahin Antakyalıoğlu, President of the Association to End Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, with the presentation titled "Monitoring Children's Rights in Türkiye - Inspiring Examples".
In the closing session of the symposium, which was also broadcast live on ÜÜTV, Üsküdar University Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Prof. Arif Aktuğ Ertekin made a closing speech.
Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)