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Walk for Child Victims of Turkey Purge


On the Occasion of the UN Universal Children`s Day


17 November 2018, Saturday

On Saturday, 17 November 2018, Set Them Free volunteers walked for the rights of the child victims of Turkey Purge from UNICEF House to New York Public Library to raise awareness on the arbitrary detention of children and mothers in Turkey.  

The Government of Turkey has jailed 668 infants and babies as political prisoners along with their mothers in unhealthy conditions, denied their rights to nutrition, food and access to basic healthcare. Without any evidence, the purged mothers, whose majority is educators and academicians, and their children are accused of plotting the failed coup-attempt of July 2016 in Turkey. 

The arbitrary imprisonment of pregnant women and mothers with children devastated the lives of thousands of families. As the purged families` right to health care benefits are cut off, many disabled or sick children with severe diseases are left without the required health services. Right to access the health services of thousands of mothers is violated during their pregnancy or postpartum periods, affecting the health of innocent children. Tens of mothers miscarried their babies due to the persecutions and harsh conditions in Turkey. 

Apart from the severe violations of women and children rights in jails, many children died drowning in Evros River as the purged families have no other alternative to live their lives and forced to escape the witch-hunt in Turkey. Tens of thousands of babies and children are left without any parental care, as in many cases, both parents are arbitrarily detained. Indeed, most of the jailed parents are still waiting for their indictments to be prepared. 

Today, we are gathered in different locations through the USA, Canada and Europe to stand for the rights of the children victims of the Turkey purge. We demand the freedom of innocent children jailed in Turkey and the protection of the rights of purged children. The aim of these walks throughout the world is to raise awareness about the plight of thousands of children in Turkey and abroad who face discriminations on several grounds prohibited by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We call on local and international media to continue raising awareness on the jailing of children and  mothers, who have become the victims of unlawfulness in Turkey, and support our campaign on Twitter via @sethemfreetr account. We finally request the collaboration of civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders to address the human rights violations against children and mothers in Turkey.

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