The word orphan, derived from the root “yütm” meaning “to be alone, to be left alone”, expresses the uniqueness of the object. Being an orphan can be understood as a child being unprotected in terms of meeting his/her basic needs and observing his/her rights. Although the duty of protection and support is traditionally attributed to the father, it would be more appropriate to understand the concept of an orphan as a child who has lost material and spiritual support that would protect him from dangers even if his parents are alive. The fact that the term orphan is used in daily language in our civilization to evoke this situation also confirms the meaning.
Our Holy Qur’an emphasizes the importance of protecting the rights of certain social groups to strengthen justice and solidarity in society. In the process of building a just and peaceful world, the poor, stranded travelers, close relatives, neighbors, and the needy can be immediately listed among these groups whose rights should be respected first and foremost. Among these groups, orphans are another group that is particularly emphasized. Orphanhood is not only associated with not being wealthy. Since orphanhood is used for children who are not capable of protecting and defending their rights, it is also a concept directly related to children’s rights.
Therefore, treating the phenomenon of orphanhood within child rights will significantly contribute to understanding rights and freedom. A system of thought based on the protection of all children in this situation and the institutionalization of social solidarity in light of this can initiate a process that will bring about a perspective and institutionalization that can be extended to all rights.
For all these reasons, it is of great importance that the Symposium on Orphans and Abandoned Children, which deals with the phenomenon of orphanhood from a scientific point of view and brings together academics, experts, and practitioners from different disciplines related to the subject, was organized on the World Children’s Day and that the academic papers here have been published as a book.