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

Statement delivered by DCI at HRC56 on Item 3–Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children

Statement delivered by DCI at HRC56 on Item 3–Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children


On behalf of the NGO Panel on Children Deprived of Liberty.



The detention of child victims of trafficking is a harmful practice that exacerbates their trauma and violates their rights. It is imperative to adopt alternative solutions that focus on their protection, rehabilitation, and reintegration. Instead of being treated as victims in need of protection and rehabilitation, they are often treated as criminals, which further stigmatises and alienates them. In addition to psychological harm and rights violations, detention disrupts the critical developmental processes of these children. It also interrupts their education, which is essential for their future opportunities and integration into society. The lack of a nurturing environment hinders their ability to rebuild their lives and achieve their full potential.


Recognising the detrimental impact of immigration detention on children, it becomes imperative to explore and implement alternative solutions that uphold children’s rights. Furthermore, alternatives to detention not only mitigate the harm inflicted on children but also demonstrate cost-effectiveness and efficacy. Alternative solutions prioritise the best interests of the child, recognising their rights to safety, protection, and dignity. By employing child-friendly practices and trauma-informed care, these approaches mitigate the adverse effects of detention.


As this year marks the fifth anniversary of the presentation of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty to the UN General Assembly, the NGO Panel remains concerned about the serious negative effects that deprivation of liberty has on the physical and psychological health of children as well as the long-term developmental impacts this will have on them. Immigration detention is never in the best interests of the child and constitutes a child rights violation.


While children are on the move on an unprecedented scale, we call on Member States to:


  • Strengthen training and capacity-building to inform all maritime and law enforcement actors about standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the protection of victims of trafficking.
  • Ensure effective implementation of the obligation of non-refoulement and prohibition of collective expulsions.
  • Implement clear legal measures to prohibit de facto and de jure deprivation of liberty of children due to their legal or migratory status, as well as that of their families.
  • Ensure effective coordination with social and child protection systems.
  • and; to implement the recommendations of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty[1]


Read full statement here


[1] United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, 2019 https://childrendeprivedofliberty.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Full-Global-Study-Nov-2019.pdf

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