Childrens’ czar urges sensitivity from judiciary in wake of Turkish mothers’ jailing

Commissioner for Children appeals to judiciary to be sensitive to rights of the child after forcible separation of children from jailed Turkish mothers over false IDs

Commissioner for Children Pauline Miceli
Commissioner for Children Pauline Miceli

The Office of the Commissioner for Children has weighed in on the debate sparked by the jailing of two mothers fleeing Turkey, arguing that the decision to imprison the mothers should be reversed.

It urged the judiciary to be more sensitive when dealing with similar cases to avoid further trauma to the children.

The commissioner's statement comes after the jailing of Rabia Yavuz and Muzekka Deneri, who were sentenced to six months imprisonment after pleading guilty to offences relating to tampering with passports and the use of false passports.

Their two young children were present in the courtroom as the women were jailed and were separated from their mothers.

“Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child clearly states that children should not be separated from their parents. The same Article also states that if for some reason children are separated from their parents, they should maintain personal relations and have direct contact with their parents,” said the commissioner in a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon.

The authorities should take the necessary action to ensure that the children are protected and that decisions are taken in their best interests, said the Office of the Commissioner for Children, whilst making an appeal to the Judiciary to be sensitive towards such cases and to ensure that the rights of all children are guaranteed.

“Other forms of sentencing should have been explored in the case of these migrants, therefore, the decision to jail the mothers should be redressed as soon as possible to minimise the trauma caused.”

The office urged all the entities involved to ensure that the children are well taken care of, that they are enabled to maintain meaningful contact with their mothers and that their privacy is respected.