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Turkey sets the standard on helping street children

Thursday, June 29, 2006
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Russia, Romania and Albania are following Turkey’s example on helping children who work on the streets

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

  The system Turkey uses in helping children who work on the streets is being followed by Romania, Russia and Albania, reports said on Tuesday.

  While there are efforts in many provinces around the country to rehabilitate and educate these children, the work that goes into it also provides an inspiration for others.

  International Labor Organization International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (ILO/IPEC) Turkey Director Nejat Kocabay said there were national and international affects of the program implemented in Turkey.

  He said there were many centers around the country that helped children on the streets, and the efforts by these centers paid national and international dividends.

  Kocabay said the program was directed from Switzerland and that officials from there kept a close eye on what was happening in Turkey. He said the services provided for children who work on the streets were now being offered in Romania, Russia and Albania.

  “We should be proud. In our efforts, we integrate children's social environment and many organizations cooperate with us. The model used in Turkey aimed to minimize the time children spend on the streets by providing social, cultural and educational opportunities.

  The centers united the efforts of various institutions for the benefit of the children, he said, noting that a combined effort was needed to save the street children.

  He said their efforts had produced very good results in Turkey and that was why other countries were also asked to copy it. “However, this does not mean the problem is solved. We have achieved good results, because our efforts are supported by government policies and the Social Services Department.” 

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