05.04.2023

Update on our Emergency Campaign in Turkiye in Response to the Earthquakes

In March, we launched our response to the horrifying earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. In the first 10 days of our prevention campaign, we have targeted three of the most severely-impacted provinces in Türkiye – Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep – with plans to steadily expand to reach all the impacted areas.

So far, more than 300,000 young people have been reached through our campaign. More than 6,000 of them have visited our landing pages, which contain the contact details of national hotlines and partner organisations that provide on-the-ground support.

According to OCHA (UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs), an estimated 1.6 million people in Türkiye currently live in informal settlements, with bare minimum living conditions and limited or no access to basic services. Hatay currently hosts the majority of people living in both sites and settlements.

The UNFPA (UN Population Fund) highlights the significant safety risks, including gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual exploitation, that people living in these types of settlements face – and highlights occurrences in the report at this link.

This in turn exacerbates the risk of harmful coping mechanisms such as forced and child marriage. Additionally, as millions of people are in need of vital assistance, risks of child labour and labour exploitation are also emerging for both the refugee and host communities.

Through our work, we are constantly gathering insights and intelligence about the risks that children and young people are exposed to after the earthquakes. We are also closely coordinating with our partners and support organisations on the ground, while updating our campaign material and ensuring they deliver the right information in an empowering and impactful way.

Through our campaign material, we will equip the targeted population, and especially those most at-risk, with safety information around human trafficking and exploitation – and connect them with trusted local organisations on the ground who can provide assistance and protection.

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