Webinar series

Children’s Rights in Palestine, Touching base on Palestinian Child’s Day

Defence for Children International (DCI) launched a series of webinars on 5th April 2024, International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian Child, to raise awareness about the rights of Palestinian children.

The subsequent webinars are scheduled for 8th May, 17th May, 31st May and one more on 2nd July with a hybrid meeting near Geneva on 2nd May, coinciding with the Annual Rafto Prize meeting of laureates. DCI-Palestine is the 2023 Rafto Prize Laureate.

The webinars bring together a range of high-level expert Palestinian and international speakers to discuss how best to support Palestinian children, meet their immediate needs, start healing the harms caused, provide pathways to a sense of justice and accountability, and ensure their rights are respected and implemented.

2nd July 2024, 14:00 – 16:00 CEST



Moderator: Bethany Ellis, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict


  • Giovanni Di Girolamo, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Unit, Commission’s Directorate-General for European Humanitarian and Civil Protection Operations (ECHO)
  • Rana Nashashibi, Director of the Palestinian Counselling Centre
  • Francesca Albanese, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
Play Video

Action points:

  1. Immediate Ceasefire: Call for an immediate ceasefire to halt the violence and protect civilians.
  2. Humanitarian Access: Ensure safe and unrestricted humanitarian access to and within Gaza to reach affected populations, including opening all access crossings.
  3. Safe Movement: Guarantee the safe movement of humanitarian workers and supplies to support aid delivery.
  4. Protect Civilian Infrastructure: Respect and protect civilian infrastructure, such as shelters, schools, health facilities, and utilities, to prevent loss of life, disease outbreaks, and ensure care for the sick and wounded.
  5. Respect International Law: Urge all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law to safeguard civilian lives and property.
  6. Medical Access: Allow urgent medical cases to safely access critical health services or be evacuated, ensuring that children evacuated for medical reasons are accompanied by family members.
  7. Family-Based Care: Promote family-based care options for children deprived of parental care, avoiding excessive institutionalisation.
  8. Support for HRDs: Provide protection and support for Palestinian human rights defenders and NGOs documenting the situation, recognising their essential role despite crackdowns.
  9. Accountability and Justice: Press for accountability by urging the ICC to issue arrest warrants and for countries with universal jurisdiction to ensure justice is served for violations committed during the conflict.
Read full summary here

Defence for Children International elects Abdul Manaff Kemokai as new President, confirms thirteen new national sections

Press release

Geneva – 7 March 2017.

The International General Assembly of Defence for Children International (DCI), which is composed by national sections and associated members in more than 35 countries, gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1-3 March 2017.

On this occasion, the IGA elected a new President, Mr. Abdul Manaff Kemokai from Sierra Leone, and International Executive Council (IEC) to lead the Movement between 2017 and 2021. The composition of the new IEC is as follows:

  • President: Mr. Abdul Manaff Kemokai; DCI – Sierra Leone
  • Treasurer: Mr. Aloys van Rest; DCI – Netherlands
  • Vice-President Africa: Mr. Nirmal Busgopaul; DCI – Mauritius
  • Vice-President Americas: Ms. Vilma Amparo Gomez Pava; DCI – Colombia
  • Vice-President Asia-Oceania: Mr. Khaled Quzmar; DCI – Palestine
  • Vice-President Europe: Ms. Géraldine Mathieu; DCI – Belgium
  • Councillor: Mr. Juan Fumeiro; DCI – Uruguay

I feel honoured and gratified for the confidence you have reposed in me to be your president and lead you for the next four years” said Abdul Manaff Kemokai, who becomes the first representative from a national section in Africa to be elected as President.

Abdul Manaff Kemokai addressing the International General Assembly

Mr. Kemokai has been Executive Director of DCI-Sierra Leone since 2006, turning a voluntary-based structure into an organisation that operates today five offices and employs more than fourty local staff members throughout the country. In November 2016, Mr. Kemokai received the International Child 10 Award for his work and dedication to improve the situation of children in Sierra Leone.

Vice-President for Africa from 2008 to 2016, M. Kemokai added: “I am also grateful to my predecessor, Mr. Benoit van Keirsbilck, and his team for their hard work to ensure stability in the movement and increase optimism and motivation. My leadership will continue to promote such positive spirit by increasing contacts between the IEC, International Secretariat and the national sections, providing support and above all recognising the efforts of everyone irrespective of the size and quality of the contribution.”

The International General Assembly also granted full membership status to thirteen provisional national sections[1] of Defence for Children International, which are:

  • DCI-Burkina Faso
  • DCI-Central African Republic (Centre pour la Promotion et la Défense des droits de l’Enfant)
  • DCI-Guinea
  • DCI-Greece
  • DCI-Egypt (Egyptian Foundation For Advancement Of Childhood Conditions)
  • DCI-Lebanon (Connect Children Now)
  • DCI-Mauritania (Association Mauritanienne pour la Santé de la Mère et de l’Enfant)
  • DCI-Morocco (Bayti)
  • DCI-Spain
  • DCI-Somalia
  • DCI-Tunisia (Association Tunisienne des Droits de l’Enfant)
  • DCI-United Kingdom (Just for Kids Law)
  • DCI-Yemen (Democracy School)

With the thirteen new national sections, Defence for Children International is now strong of 35 national sections and 3 associated members worldwide.

The International General Assembly unanimously adopted DCI’s strategy for the next four years, which identifies four thematic priorities: justice for children, violence against children, children on the move, and children affected by conflicts.  The empowerment and participation of children, substantive gender equality as well as deprivation of liberty, in particular the active participation in and contribution to the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty for which DCI leads civil society’s engagement, are crucial cross-cutting issues that will be addressed by members of the DCI Movement from 2017 to 2021.

The IGA’s final declaration recalls those priorities and the commitments that Defence for Children International has taken for the next four years – it is available here.

[1] In brackets: name of existing organisations that have become national sections of DCI in their respective countries. Those without names in brackets are newly-created national sections.

This post is also available in: FR, ES