Occupied Palestinian Territory
Children in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continue to be denied their basic human rights, and grow up under military occupation, in an uncertain context where the threat of violence is never far away.
The detrimental effects of military occupation and the Gaza blockade continue to be felt. Family homes in are routinely destroyed, and freedom of movement is severely curtailed. Frequent violent exchanges between Palestinian and Israeli civilians, as well as with Israeli forces and armed settlers, continue to result in injuries and, occasionally, the deaths of children.
The aftermath of the 2014 conflict has been particularly difficult for children and young people living in the Gaza Strip. In addition to the 551 children killed in the military operation on Gaza, 3,436 children were injured, 10 per cent of whom now suffer permanent disability. War Child staff continue to witness the severe traumatic impact of the 2014 Gaza conflict on many of the children who we work with. Continuing sporadic rocket fire and airstrikes along Gaza’s border areas serve as a frequent and terrifying reminder for these children, many of whom live in fear of another war.
What we do
War Child works with local organisations, community groups, and families to protect children from harm, and support their psychosocial wellbeing and resilience. We provide children with the tools and self-confidence they need to cope with a difficult present, and to build a better future - both for themselves and their communities. We create safe play and recreation spaces, where children exposed to war and occupation can get back to being children, and we train local community members and professionals to work with children in these spaces.
At the same time we work with families and communities to help them deal with the stress of life under occupation, and to strengthen positive and nurturing family environments to help reduce the impact of conflict on children.
We also teach children and the people who care for them about their rights under international laws and conventions to which Israel and the Palestinian Authority are both signatories. And when we see that children’s rights are violated, no matter by who, we speak.