Monday, October 11, 2010

Turkey: Case study on education and displacement in Turkey

Internal displacement can jeopardise children’s right to education, in both protracted and emergency situations. This case study focuses on two factors that affect displaced children’s ability to exercise their right to education: poverty and discrimination. It is based on IDMC research in Turkey in November 2009, on IDMC’s routine monitoring of internal displacement in Turkey, and on desk study of relevant publications.

Being forced to flee conflict, generalised violence or human rights violations frequently increases poverty among the population displaced. Families may lose possessions and documents in flight as well as access to their homes and land, and may be displaced to areas where their traditional livelihoods and skills are not relevant or cannot be exercised. Many IDPs move to areas where there is great competition for few opportunities, such as urban slums or other poor areas, and their arrival among host communities can stretch existing resources there. The resulting poverty can be accompanied by a decline in access and quality of education; children may be forced to work to provide family income or else to marry early, while families may be unable to pay school fees or associated expenses.

Forced displacement can disproportionately affect minority groups, who may suffer discrimination before or during displacement. Additionally, IDPs may find themselves in a minority in the place they were displaced to. Discrimination reinforces barriers to education: displaced children may find themselves unable to access schools in places of displacement, or may find that the education provided is inappropriate culturally or linguistically.

Protracted displacement has had a profound impact on the education of internally displaced children in Turkey, many of whom live in marginalised socio-economic conditions in urban areas, and who are unable to attend school because of poverty and discrimination.

Read the full text, PDF:

Principle versus practice: Poverty and discrimination as barriers to the enjoyment of the right to education for internally displaced children