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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

Panellists:

 

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
Lire la vidéo

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

Child rights in Arab countries

Defence for Children International’s Middle East and North Africa Desk published its first report on the situation of children’s rights in 10 Arab countries.

According to the UN Secretary-General’s latest annual report on children and armed conflict, “2014 saw unprecedented challenges for the protection of tens of millions of children growing up in countries affected by conflict.” Of the 23 conflict situations covered, seven involved Arab countries. Children in Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen fell victim to such grave violations as killing and maiming, recruitment and use, sexual violence, and abduction.

Meanwhile, the influx of refugees and asylum-seekers escaping atrocities outpaced the rate of response in host countries, leaving refugee children vulnerable on multiple fronts.

Even the Arab countries that emerged from conflict are still grappling with social norms that view early child marriage, female genital mutilation, child labor, and violence toward children, among other violations of children’s rights, as acceptable.

DCI felt the urgency to grow the movement across the Middle East and North Africa to address the high protection risks that exist for children. In 2011, DCI’s International Executive Council gave the DCI-Palestine section the mandate to establish DCI sections in the Arab world.

Defence for Children International-Palestine partnered with leading local, independent civil society organizations from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen, each eventually becoming a member of the DCI movement in their own right. While DCI made significant progress toward welcoming a Sudanese partner to the fold, the relationship dissolved late in 2014 as the organization struggled to sustain its operations amid political turmoil.

All nine of the remaining sections have since sought to engage the Arab League specifically, as well as the United Nations and other international bodies, to bolster protection mechanisms for children in the Arab world.

As these sections ramp up their advocacy efforts, they wrote the summaries in this publication to offer a glimpse into the situation of children in their respective countries.

This post is also available in: ES