'Discrimination against Western Thrace Turkish children is worrying' UN says

Western Thrace
Sun, 19 Jun 2022 7:58 GMT
The United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child published its concluding observations on Greece at its 90th session from May 3 to June 3.In the concluding observations, which include recommendations for Greece, it is noted that the Committee...
'Discrimination against Western Thrace Turkish children is worrying' UN says
The United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child published its concluding observations on Greece at its 90th session from May 3 to June 3.

In the concluding observations, which include recommendations for Greece, it is noted that the Committee is concerned about the ongoing discrimination and negative attitudes towards children belonging to the Western Thrace Turkish community, which affects children's access to education and restricts them from benefiting from socio-economic rights and services.

The Committee requested Greece to have a sufficient number of bilingual schools with Greek and Turkish curricula of the Western Thrace Turkish community and to provide quality education there, in accordance with Articles 2, 14, 29, and 30 of the Convention, as well as their mother tongue as the official language, Greek. Recommendations were made to ensure that they receive a quality education in Turkish as well.

Calling on Greece to allocate sufficient financial, human, and technical resources to improve the scope and capacity of pre-school education, the Committee recommended that a sufficient number of bilingual kindergartens be provided for the Turkish community in Western Thrace.

Mentioning the important role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in services for children, it was stated that it should intensify cooperation with NGOs representing children from the Western Thrace Turkish community and meaningfully involve them in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies, programs and laws related to children's rights.

The Committee also requested that Greece introduce the work of the National Council Against Racism and Intolerance to the public and that NGOs representing children belonging to the Western Thrace Turkish community be represented in the said council.

Noting that it is deeply concerned by Greece's policy of detaining child migrants on the grounds of identification, it calls for an immediate end to the detention of migrant children and for the transfer of asylum-seeking children and their families out of detention centers.

The European Western Thrace Turkish Federation (ABTTF) has prepared a parallel report on the combined periodic report for the fourth, fifth and sixth terms that Greece submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, in which the problems experienced by the children of the Western Thrace Turkish community in the field of education are explained in detail. It was forwarded to the Committee in the past few months.

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