Date: 20 Nov 2021
Original Lang.: Arabic
On the occasion of the International Children’s Day
ICSPR calls on the international community and its organizations to provide international protection for the Palestinian child and to triumph for his rights.
Today -Saturday, November 20, 2021- marks the International Children’s Day and the thirty-second anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the United Nations on this day in 1989 and entered into force on September 2, 1990.
This occasion comes while Palestinian children are still paying a heavy price as a result of the continued practices and policies of the Israeli occupation forces against them. Children are still victims of Israeli crimes that have turned their lives into continuous suffering, a suffering that hasn’t yet prompted the international community and its organizations to stand up and address the crimes and triumph for the rights of the Palestinian child.
The Israeli military occupation forces deliberately kill Palestinian children, where they killed more than (80) Palestinian children this year, (15) of them were shot dead in the West Bank, and more than (60) Palestinian children were killed during the 11 days of aggression on the Gaza Strip last May, and more than (630) children were injured.
Statistics show that since the beginning of 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested (1149) Palestinian minors and children until the end of October, of whom (160) minors are imprisoned in the prisons of the occupation and distributed among the prisons of Ofer, Damon and Megiddo, so that the total number of child detainees since the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000 reached about (19 thousand) children under the age of 18, including children under ten years old.
In addition, two-thirds of the detained children were subjected to one or more forms of physical torture, while all detainees were subjected to psychological torture during the various stages of detention, in a systematic and widespread manner, which is considered among the grave violations of international law, especially the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The Israeli occupation continues to increase the suffering and pain of Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by depriving them of their basic rights (health and education…), as economic, health and other indicators show a clear deterioration due to the occupation policy of depriving children and their families of securing basic needs, and depriving them of treatment and access to medical facilities as a result of the security refusal policy to respond to requests for permits necessary for the passage of pediatric patients and their escorts through the Israeli checkpoints, which led to the death of two (2) children due to their denial of access to the hospital during this year.
Moreover, the occasion comes while the psychological and physical suffering of Palestinian children is multiplied, due to weak enforcement of laws and the absence of national policies related to children’s rights. Challenges also increase in light of the current state of emergency and the measures accompanying the Corona pandemic, and the accompanying closure of schools, parks and many public facilities, which calls for reminding officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip of their responsibilities under the law towards the Palestinian child, including urging them to provide protection, prevention and care for the children of today, the leaders of tomorrow.
On this global occasion, The International Commission to Support Palestinians’ Rights (ICSPR) considers that the policies and measures of the Israeli occupation against Palestinian children constitute an evasion of its international obligations towards them. Accordingly:
- ICSPR calls on the international community to compel Israeli occupation forces to respect human rights, abide by the principles of international humanitarian law, and put an end to the continuous Israeli violations against Palestinian civilians, foremost of which is lifting the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.
- ICSPR urges the Palestinian government to take the necessary measures to ensure the fulfillment of its obligations stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to work to address all violations of the rights of the Palestinian child.
- ICSPR calls on the international community to compel Israeli occupation forces to abide by its international obligations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the rules of special protection stipulated in the First Additional Protocol of 1977 annexed to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
- ICSPR calls on the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children, UNICEF and all relevant institutions, to take immediate and urgent action to provide due protection for Palestinian children, as stipulated by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the special protection rules, including working without delay to include the Israeli occupation forces on the black list of countries that violate children’s rights.
- ICSPR urges the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to work as quickly as possible to open a preliminary investigation into Israeli crimes against Palestinian children, as it is the most effective way to ensure deterring the occupation forces.
- ICSPR stresses the importance of integrating the rights of children in the Palestinian governmental policies and agendas, with the aim of achieving the best interests of children.