No Place for a Child: Protection for Palestinian Children

War Child has entered into coalition with international NGOs and local grassroots organisations to help defend the rights of Palestinian children and youth.

Exposed to detention and torture

Every child should be equal under the eyes of the law and international protocols - but for Palestinian children living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this is often not the case.

Palestinian children as young as 12 come into contact with the law - where they are exposed to torture, detention and other forms of ill-treatment.

Hoe reageert het kinderbrein op oorlog

We protect the right of children to be free from torture

Photo: War Child

Meisjes geschrokken bezette Palestijnse gebieden

Hundreds of Palestinian children are detained every year

Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Physical and psychological effects

Hundreds of children are detained and prosecuted in Israeli military courts every year - where they are subject to rights violations and abuses including physical violence, strip searches, blind-folding and hard restraint with plastic hand-ties. The psychological effects of these abuses are significant and enduring.

Children in the West Bank can also come into contact with Palestinian security forces. In 2017 alone nearly 1,600 children were sentenced to juvenile detention - and some were subject to rights violations including physical violence, forcible restraint and confinement with adults.

Defending the rights of Palestinian children

War Child works to uphold the rights of children under the international laws and conventions to which Israel and the Palestinian Authority are both signatories. That’s why we’ve entered into coalition with international NGOs and local grassroots organisations to help defend the rights of these children and youth.

Gezin bezette Palestijnse gebieden War Child programma

We provide mental health services and legal support to children and their families

Photo: War Child

Our objectives

The No Place for a Child project works to bring about prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation for Palestinian children exposed to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The action is supported by the European Commission through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) funding pool. The project has four objectives:

  • Protect the right of children to be free from torture and other forms of abuse through the renewal of child protection networks
  • Empower civil society and community organisations to prevent and respond to torture and other forms of ill-treatment of children
  • Take action to hold official bodies accountable for torture and other forms of ill-treatment of children in accordance with international law
  • Work to promote the recovery and strengthen the resilience of children and youth - and their families - who experience torture and other forms of abuse

Key activities and achievements

We work across all levels of society to deliver these objectives. We provide mental health services and legal outreach support to children and their families. We hold awareness-raising sessions to make children aware of their legal rights. We campaign to expose violations of those rights - and hold bodies accountable.

The project launched in 2018 - and saw significant achievements in all areas. The year saw 1,423 child victims of torture and ill-treatment access legal services and psychosocial support. Some 1,200 caregivers also received mental health support.

More than 4,000 children took part in awareness-raising sessions and our advocacy efforts with the Palestinian Authority and law enforcement officials resulted in the release of five children in detention. The project will continue in 2019 - and beyond.