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Palestinian children need improved protection in Israeli military detention – UNICEF

2013-03-06

JERUSALEM, 6 March 2013 UNICEF today outlined practical measures that could be adopted to improve the treatment of Palestinian children who are in contact with the Israeli military detention system.

In a briefing paper titled Children in Israeli military detention: observations and recommendations, the children’s agency recommends measures so that Palestinian children in Israeli military custody are treated in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international standards.

Based on an analysis of the legal framework and testimonies from children on the violations of their rights in detention, the paper says there appears to be a pattern of ill-treatment during the arrest, transfer and interrogation of child detainees.

It includes a series of recommendations to improve protection for children in conformity with international standards such as the prohibition of blindfolding and solitary confinement of children.

The paper also recommends that except in extreme circumstances, children should not be arrested at night and a lawyer or family member should be present during interrogation of child suspects.

The paper also reinforces findings made by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and the UN Special Committee on Israeli practices in the Occupied Territory in 2012.

UNICEF welcomes some improvement in the treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military system over the past years, including raising the age when Palestinian children reach adulthood from 16 to 18 years. UNICEF will continue its engagement with Israeli military authorities to improve the safeguards that promote the rights and well-being of Palestinian children in military custody.

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The UNICEF briefing paper can be downloaded at this link: http://www.unicef.org/oPt/UNICEF_oPt_Children_in_Israeli_Military_Detention_Observations_and_Recommendations_-_6_March_2013.pdf

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.