Defence for Children International-Palestine Section

Palestinian Children's Day 2004

Fourteen years have passed since the international community embraced the Convention on the Rights of the Child, providing the world with an unequivocal obligation on all State Parties to recognise, protect and promote the fundamental rights to which all children are entitled. But for Palestinians, these worthy sentiments are empty words in the face of sustained Israeli occupation. Today, the 5th of April - Palestinian Child Day - DCI/PS would like to draw your attention to the plight of Palestinian children who continue to suffer from the systematic and institutionalised violation of their rights. 

Child rights groups appeal against biased reporting on Palestinian children

The apprehension twice in 10 days of two Palestinian children allegedly carrying explosives at Hawara checkpoint near Nablus has sparked a media frenzy. However, the multitude of violations to Palestinian children�s rights that occur daily at the hands of Israeli forces in the illegally-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are almost entirely ignored by journalists and the media. DCI/PS and NPA-Pal urge journalists and editors to adopt an impartial approach in informing the public of the truth. 

Lost childhood

Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP), Defence for Children International/Palestine Section (DCI/PS), and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel condemn the use of a Palestinian child to carry explosives, and the Israeli occupation for using him in their propaganda. The organisations call on Israelis and Palestinians to keep children away from military acts. At the age of ten, K was working at Hawara checkpoint, near Nablus, after school hours. Children his age should go home, do their homework and play, but in the Occupied Territories in general childhood is lost amidst the Israeli oppressing occupation and the Palestinian struggle. 

"Stolen Youth" launched in London

On 27 January 2004, over 200 people gathered at the Brunei Gallery on the University of London campus for the launch of “Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Children,” written by Adam Hanieh, Adah Kay and Catherine Cook. “Stolen Youth” argues that prison in general and the targeting of Palestinian children in particular, are powerful weapons used by Israel in an occupation that is a multifaceted and evolving system of control affecting every single aspect of Palestinian life. 

Child Prisoners Briefing

While politicians continued to search for a way out of the deadlock of occupation and violence in November, the Israeli army persisted with its strategy of mass detention. Many children were among the Palestinians arrested during the month, and still more are languishing without charges or trial in prisons and detention centres throughout Israel and the occupied territories. Tactics employed by the Israeli army during arrests continue to breach international human rights norms, many children are later tricked or intimidated into confessing to false charges. 

Israeli government leaves Palestinian child detainees out of prisoner release

Defence for Children International/Palestine Section believes that there are only 13 child prisonersnames on the list of 344 Palestinian political prisoners due for release by the Israeli government this week as part of the roadmap to peace process. Nine of these children were on the list of 183 sentenced prisoners to be released and another 4 children were on the list of 161 administrative detainees. 

Israeli closures spur phenomenon of Palestinian "one-shekel-kids"

A one shekel kid is an under-age worker selling nic-nacs, sweets, cakes or cheap plastic items for a shekel a piece. DCI took a small sample of these children this week for International Child Labour Day on June 12. DCI Palestine notes that the deteriorating economic situation in the Palestinian territories due to Israeli closures and curfews is having a significant impact on children, both in terms of a falling standard of living and loss of opportunities and the rising incidence of child labour to supplement meager family income.