Protecting our children in a crisis

Thursday 16th Feb 2023, 10.23am

Easy-to-understand evidence-based information in Turkish and Arabic has been rapidly produced for social media-use, by international parenting experts, to support children and families affected by the devastating Turkish/Syrian earthquake.

Oxford parenting experts, in the university’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention along with international colleagues, have this week translated and released the advice and information for use in the traumatised region, with the sponsorship of a range of institutions including UNICEF, the WHO and UNHCR. These are also being rapidly shared on social media, by organisations including the International Rescue Committee, the Early Childhood Development Action Network, and UNODC.

Based on years of evidence-based research, advice from the team has previously been used war-torn Ukraine, and it was used globally during the pandemic, when it was downloaded some 210 million times. It is open source and for anyone caring for a child – including children in residential care.

See the Arabic translation here and the Turkish translation here.

Turkish translation Turkish translation of parenting resources

There are increasing reports of children being kidnapped and possibly trafficked in the aftermath of the earthquake. One of the key components of these resources is information to help parents to keep children safe from this risk.

The advice comes under 15 headings, giving clear information and recommendations to people facing the crisis. These include:

  • Take care of yourself, so you can support a child
  • Protecting our children from kidnappers
  • Coping with stress, upset and anger
  • Safety notes for every child
  • Telling our children when someone we love dies

Professor Lucie Cluver says, ‘The power of social media can be amazing. Families in Syria and Turkey deserve the best evidence-based support. Please share these resources with anyone who could use them.’

 Dr Isang Awah, maintains, ’It has been heart-breaking to read about the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. We are committed to supporting families affected by this crisis, and would be grateful for your support in getting these resources to families that could benefit from them.’

Jason Chau adds, We are looking to partner with local and international organisations to support families in Turkey and Syria affected by this devastating earthquake with our evidence-based parenting resources. Please help us share them with the parents and children in the region in this hour of need.