The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child1 by its State parties. It also monitors implementation of two optional protocols to the Convention: involvement of children in armed conflict2 and sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.3
All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports4 to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially two years after acceding to the Convention and then every five years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations".
- 9 Oct 20025
- notes that the initial report (submitted over seven years after it was due) follows the guidelines for reporting, is very elaborate, analytical and, in some parts, self-critical. Given the responsibility of the State party for the implementation of the Convention in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Committee deeply regrets the lack of any information about the situation of children in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- The Committee emphasizes that a peaceful and stable future for children in the region can only be achieved on the basis of international human rights and humanitarian law, compliance with which is essential to guarantee respect for the equal dignity of all people in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The Committee is concerned that religious laws, particularly in the area of personal status, may not be in compliance with the principles and provisions of the Convention.
- concern over reports of continuing corruption which may have a negative impact on the allocation of already limited resources for the promotion and protection of children’s rights.
- The Committee is concerned that the absence of a central mechanism to coordinate the implementation of the Convention makes it difficult to achieve a comprehensive and coherent child rights policy.
- The Committee welcomes the comprehensive statistical volume provided by the State party, but is concerned that the data are not sufficiently analysed so as to be able to assess progress in the implementation of the Convention, and regrets that no data were provided with respect to children living in the occupied Palestinian territories.
- Recognizing under the prevailing conditions the important role of civil society, as well as international humanitarian organizations, in the implementation of the provisions of the Convention, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Committee is concerned at the inadequate efforts by the State party to fully cooperate with and facilitate their efforts.
- The Committee is concerned that Israeli legislation discriminates in the definition of the child between Israeli children (e.g. persons under 18 in the 1962 Guardianship and Legal Capacity Law, and the Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law) and Palestinian children in the occupied Palestinian territories (i.e. persons under 16 in Military Order No. 132).
- The Committee is concerned that discrimination, contrary to article 2 of the Convention, persists in the State party, and that non-discrimination is not expressly guaranteed under the Constitution. In particular, the Committee is concerned about discrimination against girls and women, especially in the context of religious laws, discrimination on religious grounds, inequalities in the enjoyment of the economic, social and cultural rights (i.e. access to education, health care and social services) of Israeli Arabs, Bedouins, Ethiopians and other minorities, children with disabilities and children of foreign workers, and of the rights and freedoms of Palestinian children in the occupied territories.
- The Committee is concerned that the general principle of the best interests of the child contained in article 3 of the Convention is not incorporated in all legislation concerning children and is not always considered in practice, for example by rabbinical courts.
- The Committee deeply regrets the killing and injuring of all children in the State party committed by all actors prior to and during the present armed conflict. It is extremely concerned about the consequences of the climate of terror which seriously harms the development of children.
The Committee strongly urges the State party and all relevant non-State actors:
(a) To take immediate and all necessary measures to end the violence;
(b) To take immediate and all necessary measures to ensure that children are not recruited and do not participate in the conflict;
(c) To investigate immediately and effectively all killings of children and bring the perpetrators to justice;
(d) To take all necessary measures to provide child victims of these human rights violations with possibilities for adequate compensation, recovery and social reintegration.
The Committee notes the establishment of an inter-ministerial and inter-organizational committee to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of minors, its activities, and the involvement of non-governmental organizations in this area. However, the Committee is concerned that these and other efforts have so far had a limited impact. The Committee is concerned about:
(a) The differential application of law concerning children, such as with respect to the definition of a child in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories;
(b) The practice relating to the arrest and interrogation of children in the occupied Palestinian territories;
(c) Military Orders Nos. 378 and 1500, as well as all other military orders which may allow prolonged incommunicado detention of children, and which do not provide due process guarantees, access to legal assistance and family visits.
While the PNA is not eligible to submit a formal State Report, this report has been submitted to the UN CRC in Geneva for their information. They were willing to receive and review the report for informational purposes. Above, I've attached the full report and Executive Summary. It would be great if these resources could be linked to this page as this is informing our work with the Ministries in the coming period. Thanks Jumanah!
This initial report on the Palestinian National Authority’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child represents a compilation and review of existing national legislation, policy, practices, data and measures taken by the Palestinian National Authority to ensure implementation of the Convention.
In preparation for this report, the Palestinian National Authority, with the support of Save the Children UK and Norway, led a nationwide initiative throughout the year 2010 to gather information and data on the situation of Palestinian children's rights in the occupied territory through consultations with government ministries, non-governmental and private sector stakeholders working with and serving children, civil society and most importantly, Palestinian children themselves. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics acted as the primary coordinating body, providing national data and statistics.
This report has ten main sections presented with clear accompanying recommendations or ways forward on how to improve conditions for Palestinian children. The format of the report mirrors state reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.