Defending the right to live in safety

April 11, 2019

Meisjes geschrokken bezette Palestijnse gebieden
Child rights in the occupied Palestinian territories have come under increasingly violent assault in the wake of protests at Gaza’s border. We work to safeguard the legal rights of children and provide vital psychological support - both on the ground and internationally. Find out more about these efforts.

An unacceptable situation

Children living in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) have been increasingly exposed to violence in the wake of last year’s protests at Gaza’s border. Innocent children have been targeted by sniper fire and violently detained in increasing numbers - with nine children killed by Israeli forces this year so far.

War Child believes this is unacceptable. Whenever we see that children’s rights are being violated - no matter by whom - we take action. That’s why we are lending our support this week to a debate in the Dutch parliament calling for the increased protection of Palestinian children in line with international law.

Syrië gevluchte kinderen War Child

Palestinian children are increasingly exposed to violence

Photo: Suhaib Salem / Reuters

bezette Palestijnse gebieden meisje War Child

We work to uphold the rights of Palestinian children

Photo: War Child

Letter to the Dutch government

The Thursday April 11 debate will see War Child and other members of the Palestinian Children’s Coalition (Palestijnse Kinderrechten Coalitie) present a letter demanding child rights are upheld. The letter calls upon the Dutch government to take steps to ensure that Israel upholds international human rights accords and implements its own laws regarding the detention of children and youth in full.

The coalition includes organisations such as Defence for Children, gate48, The Rights Forum, Palestine Link and Een Anders Joods Geluid. All coalition members work in both the Netherlands and occupied Palestinian territories to uphold fundamental child rights.

Campaigning on the ground

And our work to uphold the rights of children in the occupied Palestinian territories doesn’t end there. Our No Place for a Child project works to bring about prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation for Palestinian children exposed to torture and other forms of abuse.

Funded by the European Commission, the project sees community staff deliver specialised support via the renewal of child protection networks, empowerment of civil society and local organisations, actions to hold official bodies to account and work to promote the recovery and increased resilience of children.

The project - launched in 2018 - has seen 1,423 child victims of torture and ill-treatment access vital legal services and psychosocial support. More than 4,000 children took part in awareness-raising activities and advocacy efforts with the Palestinian Authority and law enforcement - resulting in the release of five children.

Read more about our programme in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Text: Martha Shardalow
Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters