- 2018 National Delegate Conference
- 1 January 2018
Conference is appalled at the treatment of Palestinian children by Israel. The arrest of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi shone a spotlight on Israel’s systematic abuse of minors through the process of military detention. The treatment of Ahed rightly generated a global response, but her situation is far from unique.
Each year the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 500 to 700 children. From the moment of arrest, Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and a denial of their basic rights.
Children as young as 12 are routinely:
1) Taken from their homes at gunpoint in night-time raids by soldiers;
2) Blindfolded, bound and shackled;
3) Interrogated without a lawyer or relative being present and with no visual recording;
4) Put into solitary confinement;
5) Forced to sign confessions (often in Hebrew- a language they don’t understand).
Conference recognises that these practices involve widespread and systematic violations of international law, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory, and as such condemns them.
Conference believes that Israel has a responsibility under international human rights conventions for the safety, welfare and human rights protection of Palestinian children living under occupation.
Conference welcomes the early day motion 563 tabled in late 2017 (sponsored by Richard Burden MP) and supports its call for “Palestinian children to be treated no less favourably than Israeli children”.
Conference supports calls for the recommendations of UNICEF’s 2013 report “Children in Israeli military detention”, which remain largely unmet, to be carried out in full by the Israeli government without delay and that all children in military detention are released immediately;
Conference also recognises the work of the DCIP (Defence for Children International – Palestine) in supporting and advocating for these children.
Conference condemns Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children and calls on the National Executive Council to:
a) Lobby the UK and devolved governments to press the Government of Israel to end the widespread and systemic human rights violations suffered by Palestinian children in Israeli military custody;
b) Encourage all branches to write to their MPs and MSPs calling on them to raise this issue in the Westminster and devolved Parliaments and to call on their governments to press the Government of Israel to end the widespread and systemic human rights violations suffered by Palestinian children in Israeli military custody;
c) Publicise UNISON’s position to members to raise awareness of the issue and encourage them to lobby their MPs and MSPs;
d) Raise the issue of Israel’s detention and treatment of Palestinian children through Labour Link and call on them to add their voice to the condemnation of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian child prisoners.
e) Make a donation to the DCIP.