05/01/2021 | Writer: Sibel Yükler

“It is very valuable for organizations working in the field of human rights, children, women and LGBTI movements to come together.”

“LGBTI children are facing all aspects of discrimination” Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

“Violation of rights is the prevention of the use of the acquired rights identified and guaranteed by law. This is one of the first definitions provided, when someone google “What is the violation of rights?” In order for a right to be defined as a “right”, should it necessarily be defined in laws? For example, Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 (TCK) on the “Hatred and Discrimination”, still, does not cover sexual orientation and gender identity as the basis of the ground of hatred. If the gender identity was protected before the law, perpetrators of transgender murders could have been prosecuted for hate crimes they committed against gender identity directly. Any crime committed on account of sexual orientation and gender identity constitutes hate crime.

At this point, the rights-based organizations and human rights defenders attract the attention since the issue of rights is covered insufficiently before the laws. This time, we contacted these NGOs and activists, who have been struggling against violation of rights and discrimination for years, to discuss the rights of LGBTI+ persons.

In the interviews of this series, the following issues have been addressed: when and how human rights organizations bring up the rights of LGBTI+ persons on their agenda; whether the activities of NGOs on the issues of LGBTI+ persons are sufficient, the discrimination experienced in the past in the field of rights and why it is important to ensure the access to any rights without saying “it is not the right time”. We often hear this reaction, in particular, whenever any issue on the rights is brought up, someone else stands up and says “there are other rights too!” for indicating the other rights that are ignored… Women’s rights, rights of LGBTI+ persons, rights of children, refugee rights, animal rights etc. are always subjected to a hierarchical order as if these should be brought up by someone at a later time. Which authority determines the priority order of rights and the right time to seek remedies for these? However, there is the subject person of the right and a claim for right; just like the children, on behalf of whom people are always speaking about, but who are never allowed to speak by themselves.

One of the reasons behind why the children are considered as mere passive elements of the family, the state and society, why what they do and how they live are decided by the groups that they belong to, and why their rights are easily violated at all time are that they are not accepted as subjects and individuals. This perception, which objectifies the children while regarding itself as the authority, ignores the sexual orientation and gender identity of LGBTI+ children, whenever the rights of LGBTI+ children and the violations of their rights are brought up to the agenda.

We discussed the rights of LGBTI+ children and the results of the violation of their rights with Ezgi Koman and Esin Koman, who worked for long years at Agenda: Child! (Gündem Çocuk) Association, which was closed down by the Decree Law (KHK), and who continue to work at the Child Rights Center established within the Idea and Arts Workshop Association (FISA).

Pointing out that evaluating the development of children within a binary gender system is a huge problem, Esin Koman emphasizes that Queer theory should be discussed developmentally.

Ezgi Koman, who states that none of the rights of the children can be postponed, therefore, while demanding that child early and forced marriages (CEFM) should be banned, it is also necessary to talk about the sexual freedom of children. Ezgi reminds that the adults do not have any rights on children rather they have only responsibilities.

It is for this very reason that Ezgi states if a LGBTI+ child wants to use hormones, adults must provide good guidance and support to them.

First of all, we can talk about the systematic and social reasons why children suffer from violations of rights and discrimination. Children are perhaps the most easily discriminated and violated social subjects within the state, family and society. Maybe they are not even seen as subjects... We can discuss this issue here.

Ezgi Koman: There are many reasons why children’s rights are violated. But there is a situation that reproduces all these, and that is the perception of the society about a child. This perception of the society, the state, the family, and all the mechanisms that make up the society cause the violations of children’s rights to occur again. What is this perception? In fact, this perception causes discrimination on the one hand. On the other hand, it has become so widespread and reinforced by a discriminatory point of view. The child; unfortunately, is not perceived as an independent individual entitled to rights and freedoms as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. How is the child perceived? The child is generally considered as mere passive elements of the family, as an entity belongs to the family and parents. The children are defined as persons that the state will maintain its own survival over them- we see this from the policies, curriculum and main objectives of national education. But mostly they are seen as weak persons in need of protection, always facing unfortunate events and as inexperienced persons...

This perception actually is an approach that, not only children but also minority groups, women and LGBTI persons are exposed to; which is a paternalistic approach. This approach is based on the adults, but not limited to the adults, adults but male adults, male but white adults, white but Turkish, Muslim adults, Muslim but Sunni adults. All groups outside of this ground are subject to discrimination. Children also face a part of the discrimination. For the continuity of this approach, the child should always remain weak, helpless creature in need of protection. Because the paternalist approach can only have domination over the children when they are weak.

The reason why children are seen as passive elements is due to the fact that children are not accepted as subjects and individuals. Therefore, their rights are easily violated. Is it possible that their rights are violated so easily due to the idea that “children have no rights” at all?

Ezgi: One of the reasons for this is the perception of the childhood and its “temporary status”. Childhood is perceived as a “temporary” period. If you are basically taking into account the adults as the ground, you see childhood as a temporary period, a preparation period for the adulthood. Therefore, the rights and freedoms of that period, the needs and potential of that period - not only the needs but also the children actually like each individual, each person has a potential - all of these become invisible. They are expected to finalize their childhood as soon as possible, to become adults. As such, children are always evaluated in their relation with the “future”. They will grow up, go to school, and have a profession... Childhood is seen as a preparation period for adulthood. Therefore, this is what we feel in case of violations of children’s rights, which is reinforced again and again. This is also reinforced at home and by the state. This is a very hypocritical situation. On the one hand, angel like characteristics such as innocence, pureness is attributed to the child by somewhat religious references. But you can remember that there are still children prosecuted as “terrorists”; so it is a hypocritical situation. On the one hand, there is a perception that “children cannot understand the world since they are not grown up yet”, but on the other hand they can be seen as terrorists as the most dangerous ones for the state. There are two such very different perceptions about children in Turkey and this is a very distorted perception. Violations move back and forth between these two extreme perceptions, and we are confronted with this again and again.

Esin Koman: One of the things that paves the way for the violations is that whoever holds the power, the ruler - the family, the parents, the state - thinks that they can use this power over the children and abuse this power. They can use the power more comfortably over the children. Because they see that they own the children, they build their own futures on them, they use the power over the children very easily. Actually they are abusing this power. This is actually one of the factors in the occurrence of that violation of rights, and it feeds that distorted perception.

LGBTI+ children can also be subjected to more violations and discrimination because they are seen as misfits for the “normative” structure built by the system in multiple areas such as family, state and education. LGBTI+ children are exposed to discrimination in many areas from family to education environment on account of their sexual orientation and gender identity within the heteronormative system. Where and how does the violations and discrimination suffered by LGBTI+ children originate?

Ezgi: Children are exposed to discrimination just because they are children, they are not able to enjoy many rights and freedoms that adults have, and the mechanisms for ensuring this are not established for them. But at the same time, they may be discriminated due to some of their characteristics or due to some of the situations their parents have; like children of Alewi families. Therefore, they may face more profound discrimination both because they are children and because of the other characteristics. LGBTI children also face a more profound discrimination for this very reason. The dimensions and effects of the discrimination they are subjected to are getting deeper both because they are children and because they are LGBTI persons. LGBTI children experience every aspect of discrimination, but they are also exposed to violence, the worst form of discrimination. This violence can start in the family or at home, sometimes even violate the right to life, can be psychological or verbal, or prevent their access to the right to education.

There are 5 key areas where violence against children is experienced. LGBTI children also face discrimination in each of these five key areas. The first is at home, the second is in educational environments, the third is in the street, the fourth is in closed institutions, and the fifth, if they have to work, they are exposed to discrimination in labor life. We see that LGBTI children are subjected to profound discrimination in each of them.

Esin: The perception of adults, who do not accept the characteristics belong to childhood, paves the way for the discrimination since this perception ignores that child has a sexuality, can have a sexual identity, can experience something unique, can live own sexuality in relation to the sexual identity. When we consider the developmental stages of children, there are expectations by adult perception and adult fiction: by the society, the parents, the school, the teacher and the doctor... Developmental theories do not want to encounter anything that is outside of the accepted, existing binary gender system, and they do not know what to do when they encounter such situation. That is why this perception actually causes LGBTI children to be discriminated from the very beginning. Therefore, children’s sexual development and sexual identity should be discussed within these theories, and it should be contemplated in that regard.

Ezgi: It needs to be reestablished outside of the binary gender system.

Esin: Yes, another point of view is necessary in the development of the child. In order to prevent discrimination, it is necessary to discuss these at first. Unless we discuss it, what is experienced is not accepted as discrimination. Families and teachers do not know and see any different gender identity. Because they have a certain theoretical structure and type in mind, they cannot think beyond these.

Ezgi: When they confront with something outside of the binary gender system, they describe it as a developmentally atypical situation, a problem in behavior, a disorder, and therefore the problem starts after that.

Esin: Yes, this provides the traces of the violations that LGBTI children may be subjected to. After that, it is not possible to avoid discrimination in all five areas. Yes, there is a perception about child, but we can clearly say that the perception about child’s gender identity in developmental stages also feeds this.

Many families take their children to a child development specialist to monitor their developments. Apart from the education system or family structure, I was wondering that do people who have an expertise in child development make a research and studies on LGBTI+ children while they receive their trainings? What can the child development field provide for LGBTI+ children, what does it include? Yet, the approach LGBTI+ children can face when they are taken to a child development specialist, is one of the important points that can affect their future years positively or negatively.

Ezgi: We are both child development specialist. Within the lessons we have attended, the theories we have learned, sexual development theories have always been provided based on the binary gender system. Beyond that, I do not know whether there is any other point of view, difference, and different situation. There are several persons that work on sexual development, and they still define it within the binary system.

Esin: You say, ”Lets discuss queer theory developmentally, lets discuss it”, you say that it is important for experts working child development to understand this as well. Because you see that if you do not resort to that theory when you evaluate the child, it will be incomplete. It hurts the children when they are evaluated by the binary gender system. Identification, acceptance of the children, what you will provide to make them accepted are important. If you do not say anything to the family about this, you will be affecting the child negatively. Therefore, it is necessary to look at it from a developmental perspective. We know that there are the experts who have individual studies beyond theoretical studies, this is very important, the more widespread it becomes, the easier it will be to reach the child, reach the family, and reach the right approach. But individual effort is not enough, theoretical changes are needed, it is necessary to discuss these and provide paradigm shifts.

Are there examples of this?

Esin: We were actually working on this before the association was closed. We started to come together and think, “Lets go through queer theory, lets learn it together, lets evaluate the child with this perspective”, but the association was closed down at that time. Actually, we can start it again, because it is very important to work this with children, to look at the issue together, and to look at it together with experts and rights defenders, because it is not something that can happen itself alone.

How can you exemplify the cases in these 5 areas where LGBTI+ children are exposed to discrimination and violence?

Ezgi: One of the important things that happen in each area is not to accept the existence of a child, especially if it is a structure based on more conservative and religious approaches. In places such as educational environment, neighborhood, state institutions, closed institutions, centers under state protection, prisons or rehabilitation centers, if these are more religious-based environments, the children may be subjected to violence, even violation of the right to life. In case of domestic violence, not only religious references, but also actually some ideologies can be the reason behind this. For example, there was a case where a soldier attempted to kill his daughter. Maybe it was a more secular family, but this violence did stiil happen. Therefore, LGBTI children are subjected to violence in a way that hinders their right to live in the home. They are subjected to physical violence. Verbal and psychological violence is quite common. Children at home are also faced with attitudes such as “being mocked” and “being labeled”. Their unusual, non-binary gestures are easily mocked and labeled. Or the families are trying to “correct” them by using force. Children are exposed to this type of behavior by their parents. Child protection mechanisms or the state in Turkey are already not working or working difficultly. It is much more difficult for LGBTI children to apply these mechanisms.

In the educational environment, this time, they may be exposed to similar attitudes of the teachers. On the one hand, they may face physical and verbal violence, on the other hand discrimination, exclusion…. LGBTI children are also exposed to peer bullying in educational environments. But we know that peer bullying is actually the result of a series of rights violations against other children. If there is a violence that the child is exposed to in terms of gender identity, in fact there are other kinds of discrimination at school; the discrimination has become systematic. This is why a child may inflict violence or discrimination on another child. The form of violence that we call peer bullying can actually be something that teachers sometimes ignore. They already have a similar discriminatory approach, so they do not prefer to prevent it ... Or they have no awareness in that regard anyway...

As we talked about child development, it is a big problem that the teachers have no awareness about this issue. In addition to the fact that they do not develop themselves at this point, there is also the fact that their discriminatory approach affects both the child and the peers of the child and there is a discrimination supported by the curriculum.

Esin: Yes, the curriculum is very challenging in this sense. Although you try to establish something out of gender perceptions as much as you can do at home, but from the moment the child goes to school, the curriculum and paradigm are so strong that the child immediately embraces it. There is a very serious paradigm that feeds gender. It is very important how and with which adults, administrators and professionals the children meet in the educational environment, at home, in the neighborhood, and in closed institutions. It is the same case for peer bullying. There is no such thing as “children use violence against the ones they see different from themselves.” Children are exposed to peer bullying in educational environments or other settings where there is no peaceful climate built. In fact, this is also the case for children with disabilities. When the culture of living together is not built, these kinds of cases can occur.

Ezgi: Another violation of rights is experienced in the child’s self-expression, in encountering opportunities for self-expression. When the children feel a confusing situation about themselves that they cannot indentify but can still sense, they think what might happen to them if they disclose such situation. That is why they are hiding this from the peers, parents, and teachers. In fact, this situation is a huge obstacle for their self-realization. This is really a fundamental violation of rights. Suppose that they decide to define themselves - sometimes they can start acting earlier in defining their own sexual identity, since children’s access to information is much easier now and they can embrace their situation. But this time, they can be exposed to a series of problems, especially by other people, from the moment they indentify themselves and express themselves, because there are no mechanisms to protect and support the children. There is no mechanism for teachers and parents to protect the children.

Today, if children under the age of 18 come and say, “I want to express my gender identity like this”, we have to ask first of all what kind of house they live in, what kind of school they go to. Because from the moment they express themselves, they can be subjected to a great violence, but we know that not being able to come out or express themselves is another form of violence. Sometimes you have to protect children against their parents, but by which mechanisms? When the child says, “I want to express this, I need support” if we start from the house, is there a safe protection and referral mechanism where you will provide counseling to their parents? Of course there is not such mechanism... In such cases, we need to establish our own mechanism, such as finding or recommending a psychiatrist working in this field. Then there is the school environment. It is necessary to work with teachers, etc. Because when the children go to school, they encounter teachers. In other words, LGBTI children are much more vulnerable to violence, as there is no effective child protection mechanism.

Given the extent of the violence you mentioned, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex children are exposed to different discrimination and phobia due to the sexual orientation and gender identity. For example, one of the areas where transgender and intersex children are discriminated and violated is the right to health. They are subjected to rights violations and discrimination; such as intersex children are forced into surgery without their consent, or preventing transgender children’s right regarding the surgery and the use of hormones. What would you like to say about LGBTI+ children, especially violations of the right to health and discrimination they face?

Ezgi: This situation is about how we consider the children. Because of the perception, where we think of the children as innocent, weak beings, we also do not think that children have sexuality, since we do not attribute such a will to them and right. While we are talking about the issue of child early and forced marriages today, we say, ”Lets talk about CEFM, of course it should be banned, but we also need to talk about children’s sexual freedom.” It is necessary to look at this issue from this perspective as well. We need to see the freedom of sexuality and of gender identity. Adults here do not have the right to oppress them, force them to do such as, “You will not use or you will use hormones, you will undergo or not undergo the surgery”. What needs to be done is to provide the best guidance to the children in terms of development and health… Yes, I have to say one more time; adults have no rights over children, they have a responsibility to ensure that the children can realize themselves.

A doctor cannot make unwanted intervention over the child. However, the child is seen as an entity belongs to the parents so much that the decision about using hormones or undergoing the surgery is made by their parents on behalf of them. This is about the perception about the children that we talked about. It is seen that the child belongs to the mother, the father, or, to the state. It is clear what kind of individuals they will be: they will either be women or men, they have to develop gender-appropriate behaviors we got used to, everything beyond that is a defect that somehow must be corrected. Due to this perception, children are violated and their body integrity is interfered. Adults have no rights over children; they have only responsibilities for them. When we think of transgender, intersex children, our responsibility is to guide them in the best way possible.

Esin: Yes. It will be necessary to discuss this from the perspective of the best interests of the child principle. It is necessary to consider the best interest of the child and the situation should be considered in a holistic manner developmentally. Is the child suitable or ready for this affirming process, or should it be done after a few years? It is necessary that the children’s needs and opinions should be centered.

Ezgi: Each child is unique and special, you need to provide support processes specific to each child. If children want to use hormones, they are already ready for it or sometimes they need to be ready, so we need to provide the best processes of guidance and support for each child. The best interests of the child are actually covering this process.

In this case, have you observed that the dimension of discrimination has changed between open and proud children and children who have not yet come out?

Esin: Each child has a potential to actualize. It is precious, valuable and unique as it is. If they cannot express their identity, you are actually stopping what they can do developmentally. The inability to express themselves freely is the biggest obstacle they face as individuals. At one point we have already started talking about implementing studies on this. We were working and meeting with young people, it was their demand. We were trying to learn more as well in Gündem Çocuk.

Ezgi: We even talked with Kaos GL and Pink Life. Since we are specialists, we look from this perspective, but as a children’s NGO, we learned a lot about gender and LGBTI from Kaos GL, we are still trying to learn. For a while, we did not make any gender discrimination in our right to life reports, then we started to do so. This is about togetherness. For a while, we held regular meetings with Kaos GL and Pink Life. First we had to face our own perception, get ourselves together, we really had a lot to learn. At that time, too many individuals under the age of 18 applied to Kaos GL, and they did not know exactly what to do with regard to violation of rights. So we thought, “lets set up a mechanism together”. When persons approach Kaos GL, we thought that maybe Kaos GL could refer them to us or we could carry out the process together with them, we could do something together. We have already started doing these ... There was an initiative found by LGBTI students going to high school, they started to bring us the cases of violations of the rights at their schools. These were very good meetings both in terms of improving ourselves and of discussing what we can do together.

Can you tell us about your observations about these meetings?

Esin: It is very valuable for organizations working in the field of human rights, children, women and LGBTI movements to come together. During our meetings, our adult friends shared their childhood experiences. We, as individuals in child development and as rights-based organizations, have shared our experiences. We started to look at the issue based on our own childhood stories such as “I was a child, I was living like this, my family was like this, I experienced this at school, I was exposed to these violence or I was able to survive”. It was very precious, it is needed, and the struggle would be very restricted without looking and evaluating this point. Each experience was valuable, so we said, “Lets look and discuss theoretically lets work all together”. These meetings were also very important in terms of human rights studies. Even if you work in the field of rights, seeing an experience different from your own experience changes your opinion regarding that violation. A lot of things can change, you learn a lot. Then, the studies have a meaning and influence. It is only possible to internalize this and reflect this on support mechanisms via such partnerships. In the early days, when the association was opened, we were not mentioning the discrimination against LGBTI children in our presentations in the first place, then we had awareness on this. We started to mention this as a fundamental right field. When your awareness is raised, then you start to draw attention to this issue, even warn others about this.

Ezgi: You see how systematic the problem is. You see that the violence suffered by the LGBTI children and the violence to which the woman is subjected to is actually inflicted by the same perpetrators with the same patterns. So you learn more about what you deal with, what you are trying to change, and you become more alert about its tools.

Esin: Being together, like our joint work with Kaos GL, strengthens the struggle for rights. It strengthens us all in the issue of preventing violations and impunities. These partnerships can be an example for the future as well ... In fact, we would meet more often before. But now, we are at such a stage where the system oppresses us by taking away our tools from us…. We are in a stage where everyone is more alone. However, we were at such a stage before where our efforts were getting stronger by being together, we were getting results. Frankly, we can start to rethink on this with this interview.

Actually, that togetherness and partnership, that experience sharing, has been taken away from us. We cannot come together; the oppression mechanisms that can prevent the rights studies by the system have been expanded. Maybe we need to get together in this process, we can talk about identifying needs. So how did these meetings with LGBTI organizations start?

Ezgi: Kaos GL has been working for more than 25 years. Since then, it has been such a reliable organization that children are starting to come to Kaos GL. Kaos GL was important with its presence and the children there also had a will. At that time, children forced us to bring up the issue on the agenda. If the movement can be strong, individuals who need support are likely to find it more. The more stronger your organization and your discourse, the more people can find you. This is a huge influence and achievement of Kaos GL. And there are children at that point, they are developing, seeking, finding.

Here there is a child that makes you to take action. Even if rights based organizations do not take action, there is a subject who says, “I have rights”

Esin: Yes, the children are right holders. But there was also awareness in Kaos GL that there is an adult fiction over children. Kaos GL acted with that awareness. The fact that they have both the idea of rights and the perspective of children led them to work together with us. It did not happen by itself to bring up the children’s rights and the issue of children on the agenda of women’s organizations. We discussed and developed this. All of these discussions were something that strengthened the human rights movement, everyone learned a lot from each other. Everyone tried to mainstream someone else’s issues within themselves. This actually strengthened the human rights movement.

Based on this, I want to ask where the studies on the rights of children stand within the studies on rights in general. Could children’s rights become mainstream in the studies on the rights in general?

Ezgi: I think we have come a long way in this regard. The issue of children is now one of the most important agendas in human rights organizations. Today, if they are to write a report to an international mechanism, they are also writing a report on the children, or they are very enthusiastic to working together with people and organizations specialized in the field of children. Children’s rights are a political issue. It is already a part of human rights. Children’s rights are a political issue for the countries like Turkey, where democracy cannot be built, we have always said that. If there is poverty, the child works, if there is armed conflict, the children die. Therefore, we said that it should be one of the important titles of the great politics and the human rights field. The closure of Gündem Çocuk after the state of emergency issue ironically made it very clear what we wanted to say. People were baffled about how a children’s organization could be closed down. Of course, they closed down the children’s organization first. In fact, this was one of the first organizations they closed down.

Esin: Human rights organizations also needed a change regarding the perception about children. We have always discussed this. Human rights organizations now provide numbers of people who lost their lives, and a list that includes children. But we, as rights-based workers and children’s organizations, realized together why distinguishing this is important and should be. We have to distinguish the field politically; we had to look on the basis of this question, why the government can violate the right of the child more easily, while this is a violation of the right to life. This has now been achieved. One of the agendas of human rights organizations became children. It is always necessary to discuss it together; it is only possible to raise that awareness by this. In order to understand the relationship between the state and the individual, it is necessary to continue to talk that discrimination and hate speech are embodied and fed by the relationship between the state and the child and we need to look there. This country has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The children’s rights movement had achievements and has come a long way. However, a setback occurred with the closure of Gündem Çocuk Association and with the processes that led to this. Now we have come to a stage where children’s rights should be known and recognized again.

After Gündem Çocuk has been closed down, what is the procedure and the way you have in reporting violations of rights? What do you do about the cases and violations that come to you? Do you have a new study or organization?

Ezgi: As the Gündem Çocuk team, we could not establish a new organizational structure after we were closed down, but we had other opportunities. We have worked very closely with human rights organizations and benefited from their opportunities. We had a reporting study with Human Rights Foundation of Turkey. Human Rights Association and IHOP welcomed us in their organizational structures, some of our friends took part in their boards; they have become able to provide contributions in terms of the field of children. We continued to work in different structures; we were able to implement monitoring and reporting studies. The State tried to close down Gündem Çocuk, we said “Gündem Çocuk cannot be closed down” but it was actually closed down in the end. It is also one of the things that should be considered in terms of the human rights movement, but we felt the solidarity well, we were lucky. We could not feel anything similar in terms of the children’s rights movement. But there were also friends who tried to be more resistant and who struggle more. We were thinking of establishing a child rights center, eventually the Child Rights Center was established within the Idea and Arts Workshop Association (FISA). There are still studies such as reporting that are needed. We should have been able to come together with our new experiences, needs and strategies of the new era, but not necessarily similar to something we did in Gündem Çocuk.

Esin: Now, we will conduct a research on the organization of working children, it is necessary to come together with children of diverse gender identities and all children. We learn what is happening best from them, and they actually provide the best guidance. Therefore, we will come together with more children in rights studies. It is necessary to see and work with them about their problems, violations, how they produce solutions or fail to produce these. We want to get together with the children more.

What happens when a child applies to a children’s NGO, what is the procedure followed?

Ezgi: Suppose that they will apply to the Child Rights Center, so they will need something. It is necessary to be able to prioritize, listen and understand their needs with them. Then, it is necessary to establish the support system with them and talk about which support and mechanism they need. After the meeting with the children, it is necessary to ask and identify whether it is necessary to talk with the parents, with the school, whether they have been exposed to peer bullying, whether they need anything else. We will need to make them feel that this is a safe place where they can feel safe and express themselves comfortably. We need to be visible more in order for that child can reach us.

Translation: Özge Gökpınar

Tags: human rights