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

News from DCI-Palestine and Gaza

News from DCI-Palestine and Gaza

 

  • Psychological support and emergency response

The Israeli military attacks against Gaza, violations of human rights and settlers’ violent incursions into cities and villages in the West Bank are going on. The DCI Socio-Legal Defence Centres Unit (SLDCs) decided to react and implemented an emergency plan to address the needs of children and targeted groups:

 

  1. Emergency contact numbers have been disseminated through the DCI-Palestine’s Arabic-language page to assist parents and children. They can now obtain consultations on how to deal with children’s distress during this war.
  2. Posters and guidelines to help coping with fears during wartime are designed for parents and children. They are published daily on the organisation’s Arabic-language page.
  3. Specialists have been trained for remote intervention and guidance for specific situations in closed areas in the West Bank.
  4. Emergency interventions have been provided for seriously ill children from Gaza stranded in the West Bank with their families.
  5. Initial psychological first aid has been provided to 15 children and their families from Gaza who are stranded in the West Bank. The same for 12 children in Hebron in fully restricted areas due to occupation measures.
  6. Palestinian cities’ closures deeply affect all legal processes. Therefore, emergency procedures have been put in place to follow up on cases of children in conflict with the law. Lawyers are presently handling the cases of 16 children.

 

 

  • Child protection and participation

In response to the Israeli military attack against Gaza, since October 7th, the children of the provincial councils- (north and south) redirected the focus of their child-led initiatives towards addressing the situation in Gaza.

The Middle West Bank Council and protection teams initiated a project called “Support the Children in Gaza” to address Human Rights violations against children. A video shared by DCI-P documents these violations. Simultaneously, the Northern Council released a video, “Voices from Gaza”. Interviews with Gaza workers stranded in Nablus depict the challenges faced by those living away from their families and children.

Following the participation of the Palestinian Child Council, DCI-P General Director Khaled Quzmar and the Community Mobilization Unit Coordinator attended an online open conference to reflect on the children’s stories and recommendations. It was led by the Child Research Centre at Maastricht University.

During the Conference, DCI-P’s Director spoke about the situation of children’s rights in the oPt and DCI’s efforts to amplify their voices and empower children as human rights defenders. DCI-P also joined the panel on children’s legal right to protection. Quzmar shed light on the situation of children imprisoned in Israeli military detention centres and underlined the achievements of DCI-P in the field of child justice including the support of other children in conflict with the Palestinian Law.

 

  • The President of the DCI Movement briefs the EU Parliament

Brussels, 31 January 2024. Palestine: the right to exist, solidarity and struggle against Israel’s impunity.  This event brought together voices from the ground, from Israel and Palestine, advocating for peace based on a two-state solution.

Khaled Quzmar, president of the DCI Movement, with other Palestinian NGOs and the UN Special Rapporteur, Francesca Albanese, participated in this event in Brussels. Watch the event here in case you missed it.

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