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Press Centre (12/2014)

Does economic crisis affect the well-being of children in developed countries?


ANKARA, December 11, 2014-With the participation of youth, the panel discussion “Being Chid and Young at the Time of Economic Recession” will take place with Volkan Yılmaz (Bilgi University) as moderator. On the basis of data presented by the Innocenti Report Card 12, the panel discussion aims at increasing youth participation to decisions that affect them by focusing on problems and opportunities that youth face at times of economic recession. 

According to the Innocenti Report Card 12 titled “Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries” out of 41 EU and OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries 23 have witnessed rising rates of child poverty since 2008 while child poverty rates remained stagnant or fell in others. 

One of the young panellists Ahmet Kurnaz (Hayat Sende Youth Academy Association) stressed that Turkey was successful during the crisis in preventing increase in the number of children living in poverty as a result of policies pursued. Evrim Polat (International Youth Leadership Academy, Leader of Climate Teams) focused on the effects of economic crisis on children. Fatma Vatan (Child-Friendly Cities Project Volunteer) highlighted the importance of local strategies in empowering children. Another young panellist Atakan Avcı (Community Based Psychosocial Support and Research Association) drew attention to the important role that families should play in exposing inequalities and advancing child rights. 
 
According to analyses made by young people on the basis of the Innocenti Report Card 12 “Children of the Recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries”, there was decrease by 2.76 per cent in the rate of child poverty in Turkey in the period 2008-2012. However, figures suggest that 30.2 per cent of children in the country still live under poverty line. Furthermore, there was a striking decrease by 11.5 per cent in the proportion of young people who are out of formal education, not in employment or in any vocational training. In spite of this progress, Turkey comes second after Israel (30.7 per cent) with the rate of 25.5 per cent in this regard in the list ranking 41 EU and OECD countries. 
 
According to UNICEF these comparative data show that the well-being of children is shaped by policies pursued. International comparisons enable us to show and prove that problems are not inevitable but directly affected by policies in effect. It is clear that some countries are more successful than others in terms of policies implemented. 
 
Turkey may share with other countries her experience in developing policies geared to protecting children and youth from adverse effects of crisis. On the other hand Turkey also has many lessons to learn and adapt from other countries in order to develop new policies providing children and youth in poverty better living conditions not only during crises but all the time in the context of a sustainable state policy. 
 
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Innocenti Report Card, Children of the recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries September 2014.pdf


Briefing Note for 12th Innocenti Report Card.pdf

 
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For further information: Sema Hosta, UNICEF Turkey, shosta@unicef.org, Tel:+90533 622 83 46
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org