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
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

In many countries, girls and young women face tremendous obstacles in realising their basic rights. They experience multiple forms of discrimination and violence throughout their life, starting even before birth and continuing throughout childhood and adolescence. The consequences are far reaching and serve only to perpetuate cycles of discrimination and violence against future generations of both girls and boys. Situations of conflict and instability exacerbate violence against girls and women, depriving them of their human rights and from achieving their full potential as members of society. In addition, girls and women are increasingly targeted in acts of sexual violence, especially as a form of war tactic as well as in post-war societies when rule of law breaks down. Globally, gender-based violence affects all gender, age, and socio-economic populations and grows increasingly more normalised

 

DCI’s new Strategic Framework sets gender as a cross cutting issue, embedding it into each of the four strategic priorities. The Framework  requires that a gender perspective be mainstreamed into all DCI policies and according to the principles enshrined in the CRC and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In 2019, DCI renewed our commitment to gender equality in our Code of Ethics and Gender Policy by establishing minimum standards that will guide DCI as a Movement in order to ensure equal participation and access to positions and resources to women and men at all levels of the organisation and to promote gender awareness and sensitivity.

DCI advocates at all levels for the rights of the girls and young women to be fulfilled and upheld. To this end, DCI National Sections have developed programs and projects mainstreaming a gender perspective. Most notably, DCI sections have developed programs that fight gender-based violence (GBV) and empower girls to become advocates of their own human rights as well as the rights of others (e.g. the current She Leads programme and the past Girls Advocacy Alliance). DCI has also established a Working Group on Gender to guide the Movement in incorporating this important element into all DCI activities.

Global advocacy in multilateral arenas is vital to support and strengthen local efforts.  Apart from the projects run by DCI Sections at the national level and integrating a gender perspective within the Movement, DCI advocates at the international level for the fulfilment of the human rights of girls and young women and works with UN Human Rights mechanisms and bodies in Geneva to affect global policy.

At the national level, our section in Sierra Leone advocated for the ban of child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in 30 communities across the country while DCI-Liberia led the drafting and development of the National Child Welfare & Protection Policy. Likewise, in Ghana and Sierra Leone, DCI conducted awareness raising campaigns and capacity building activities, reaching more than 5000 people – children, households, CSOs, government officials and community leaders – with sensitization messages against sexual and gender-based violence towards girls and young women. 

At the international level, DCI worked to influence three resolutions at the HRC: violence against women, discrimination against women, and female genital mutilation. The civil society group that DCI is part of influenced the resolutions by meeting bilaterally with co-sponsor governments, sharing inputs, commenting on each of the drafts as they came out and attending negotiations. The Girls Advocacy Alliance’s work on education for girls was presented on various occasions as a strategy to tackle gender-based violence and the economic exclusion of girls.

She Leads Programme

In 2021, DCI joined the She Leads consortium, a five-year joint international programme with Defence for Children – ECPAT the Netherlands (DCI-ECPAT), African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), and Terre des Hommes (TdH) Netherlands, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. 

 

The geographic focus of the programme is East Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya), West Africa (Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia) and the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan). In addition to the key work in these countries, the programme is implemented at regional and international levels, targeting regional institutions, international human rights mechanisms and other stakeholders, and facilitating GYW’s access to regional and international platforms.

 

The She Leads programme objective is to increase sustained influence of girls and young women on decision-making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and informal institutions

She Leads @A-Tardy-Plan-International

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