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An analysis of policies towards young children through a child rights perspective : the case of Turkey

Kosif, Sevilay
The aim of this study is to analyze child policies and child rights together and to emphasize the child rights perspective especially in the policies towards young children of preschool age. Children's rights play an important role in social policies targeting children. Child policies and children's rights cannot be considered independent from each other because they are aimed at the same target group and tend towards similar goals. Today, interest in policies towards early childhood period has increased in many welfare states. Nevertheless, it is considered that there is not enough attention on the issue of child rights for this period. The question of ‘How can the rights of young children be addressed with social policies?’ is discussed in the universal level and the case of Turkey has been analyzed in this context. Child policies in Turkey generally address children starting from compulsory school age and existing policies are focused on the protection of children. Besides, the policies are usually reactive instead of being proactive. In order to eliminate the gaps identified in the realm of child rights; it has been proposed as a policy to increase early childhood education and care (ECEC) services as a requirement of equal opportunity and the right to care, and to establish an independent institution on the rights of children.