Children in Israeli prisons Children deprived of their childhood – VIDEO -streaming

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Side event to the 53rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Childhood in captivity:
Palestinian children arbitrarily detained in Israeli prisons
Date: 10 July 2023, 18:30-20:30 Geneva Time
Institut des cultures arabes et méditerranéennes
Each year the Israeli military detains and prosecutes between 500 to 700 Palestinian children in Israeli military courts that lack basic safeguards for a fair trial. From the moment of arrest, Palestinian children often encounter ill-treatment and torture at the hands of Israeli forces.
Despite the fact that international norms reaffirm that civilians, especially children, generally should not be brought before military courts, Israel persists in being the only country in the world to automatically and systematically prosecute children in military courts.
While just a superficial review of the detention and prosecution of Palestinian children in the Israeli military court system suggests severe risks of arbitrary deprivation of liberty, what emerges from a full view through the experience of Palestinian child detainees is an inherently unjust system of control where arbitrary detention is the default practice.
The deprivation of liberty experienced by Palestinian children in the Israeli military justice system is arbitrary by default primarily because Israeli authorities systematically disregard and deny fundamental protections and guarantees concerning the right to a fair trial to the extent that nearly any deprivation of liberty as part of the military court system is of an arbitrary character.
The most egregious cases involve Israeli authorities’ use of administrative detention, or imprisonment without charge or trial, against Palestinian children. Palestinian children held under administrative detention orders are never presented with charges, and their detention is based on secret evidence that is neither disclosed to the detainee nor the detainee’s attorney.
Therefore, Palestinian children held in administrative detention and their attorneys have no legal means of challenging the detention and the alleged basis for it. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has regularly found that Israel’s use of administrative detention against Palestinian children amounts to arbitrary detention among other violations.
As emphasised by the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, deprivation of liberty has serious negative effects on the physical and psychological health of children as well as the long-term developmental impacts this will have on them. For this reason, three years after the presentation of the Global Study in the UNGA, the NGO Panel on Children Deprived of Liberty in partnership with the UN Inter-agency Task Force organised the Global Forum on Justice for Children and Deprivation of Liberty. The major outcome of the Global Forum is a Roadmap for Action 2023-2025) aimed at accelerating implementation of the recommendations of the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty, and at promoting concerted action and activities among Member States, UN Task Force members, civil society organisations and other stakeholders. Looking forward to this concerted action, it is important to continue to build on, and to use, good practices on alternatives to custodial measures, and gain momentum towards ending the deprivation of liberty of children.
Reference documentation
Ø Report of Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on n the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967: Report to the 53rd Human Rights Council on deprivation of liberty in the occupied Palestinian territory A/HRC/53/59
Ø Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel (2nd report to the HRC) A/HRC/53/22
Ø Arbitrary by Default: Palestinian children in the Israeli military court system, Defence for Children International-Palestine, 2023
Ø UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty and Roadmap for Action 2023-2025
Moderator: Alex Kamarotos, Executive Director of Defence for Children International
Discussion Panel:
® Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
® Khaled Quzmar, President of the DCI Movement & Director General of DCI-Palestine
® Nery Ramati, Israeli lawyer
® Roberto Brencolini, fotographer, expo, Children of a lesser god.