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Press Centre (12/2015)

"There is Another You" campaign calls for 1 million promises

Istanbul, 11 December 2015–UNICEF’s Goodwill ambassador Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ joined 70 children, including children with disabilities, for an event today in Istanbul launching the “There is another you” campaign. The campaign is seeking 1 million promises from citizens across Turkey to change their attitudes on disability, especially towards children with disabilities.

“There is another you” is a call for full social inclusion, so that all children with disabilities can enjoy equal rights. The campaign, developed jointly by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies’ (MoFSP) General Directorate of Elderly and Disabled Services and UNICEF, is based on extensive research and evidence on the knowledge, attitudes and practices towards disability in Turkish society. The campaign seeks to equip Turkish citizens with the information they need to become advocates for children with disabilities.

Barriers for children with disabilities and their families are steep, and exist in different forms. Negative attitudes, policies and legislation may lead to discrimination and exclusion. Children in particular are oftenexcluded from recreational and learning activities, prevented from developing basic interpersonal skills that are necessary to their personal and social development.

“There is another you” is founded on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that children with disabilities have the right to enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions that ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community.

To be one of 1 million promises

The press conference kicked off with a video of a UNICEF-branded hot air balloon, whose flight in Cappadocia was dedicated to the rights of children with disabilities in Turkey. Following an address by Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF’s Representative in Turkey and İshak Çiftçi, General Director of Disabled and Elderly Services for MoFSP, Goodwill Ambassador Tatlıtuğmade an online promise on the campaign website – birsendahavar.aile.gov.tr/en/ and called for 1 million promises to createa friendlier environment for children with disabilities.

“I am here to be one of the 1 million promises for a more inclusive society, where children with and without disabilities can live happily together,”Tatlıtuğstated in hisspeech. “As UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador I would like to underline that while every child is different, they all have the same rights. Let’s encourage people around us to take this issue more seriously and make their promises at birsendahavar.aile.gov.tr/en/”.

At this event, Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF’s Representative in Turkey, stated; “All children have the same rights at birth and should enjoy throughout their life the same opportunities to realize their potential and actively contribute to the development of society to the best of their abilities. The campaign is a call to everyone to think differently about disabilities and have more inclusive society.”

İshak Çiftçi, MoFSP’s Director General of Services for Persons with Disabilities and The Elderly, stated; “Our goal is to reach 1 million people for 1 million promises for the ‘There is Another You’ Campaign that we are implementing in partnership with UNICEF. We believe this event will serve as a great opportunity to show that children of all backgrounds and abilities can play and socialize happily together. I wish this event will spread the spirit of inclusiveness to all segments of our society. I would like to extend my gratitude to all those who contributed.” 

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org 

For more information about There is Another You visit birsendahavar.aile.gov.tr/en/

For Flying High For Kids World Balloon Project – Turkey video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HTzdEVryWc
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Yukarı Dikmen Mah. Alexsander Dubçek Cd. 7/106, 06450 Çankaya/Ankara. Telephone: +90 312 454 1000 Fax: +90 312 496 1461 E-mail: ankara@unicef.org