Defence for Children International – Palestine

Defence for Children International-Palestine is a new M&S Partner.

Quoted from the August 2013 Mandate magazine[vol 44, no. 3]:

‘In the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian children are “the most vulnerable victims without any real protection,” says Rifat Kassis, General Director of Defence for Children International (DCI) – Palestine.

Since 2000, an estimated 7,500 Palestinian children – some as young as 12 years old – have been detained, interrogated, and imprisoned within the Israeli military detention system, according to Kassis.

He says the children are usually accused of throwing stones and face harsh interrogations.  The children are not accompanied by a lawyer or family member during these interrogations, which include verbal abuse, threats, and physical violence, and which ultimately result in a confession and often a guilty plea.  Many children sign confessions in Hebrew, which the majority can’t read, so they don’t know what they’re confessing to.  Post-sentencing, 60 percent of Palestinian child detainees are transferred from occupied territory to Israeli prisons.  Because of the restrictions on Palestinians travelling from the West Bank to Israel, many children have limited or no family visits.’

DCI – Palestine monitors violations of Palestinian children’s rights and their findings have been supported by UNICEF in its recently released report Children in Israeli Military Detention which concluded the “ill-treatment” of children in Israeli detention is “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized.”

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