To: The New Zealand Government
End the detention and abuse of Palestinian children
We call upon the New Zealand government to use all available means to pressure the Israeli government to end the detention and abuse of Palestinian children. We ask that they make a public statement of intent to take meaningful action – including through international bodies – to ensure the Israeli government acts in accordance with international juvenile justice standards and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. From the moment of arrest, all operations and procedures should follow all of the recommendations made by Defence for Children Palestine including that:
* Detention must only be used as a last resort, and only for the shortest appropriate time.
* Children must not be subjected to physical or psychological violence.
* Children must have access to legal consultation and parents prior to and during interrogations.
* Children must only be arrested during daylight hours.
* Children must be properly informed of their right to silence.
* Children must not be blindfolded or painfully restrained.
* Children must not be subjected to coercive force or threats.
* Children must not be transferred out of the West Bank in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The full recommendations of Defence for Children Palestine are included in a link below.
Why is this important?
Each year the Israeli military detains and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. Under Israeli military detention, Palestinian children as young as 12 are routinely:
* Taken from their homes in night time raids at gunpoint.
* Blindfolded, bound and shackled.
* Interrogated without a lawyer or relative and with no audio-visual recording.
* Put into solitary confinement.
* Forced to sign confessions – often in Hebrew, a language they do not understand.
Israel is the only country in the world to automatically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic safeguards for a fair trial.
From the moment of arrest, Palestinian children encounter ill-treatment and torture at the hands of Israeli forces. Three out of four experience physical violence during arrest or interrogation (UNICEF, 2013).
We believe that the New Zealand Government must make a public statement about the measures it will take to put pressure on the Israeli government to end the ill-treatment of Palestinian detainees.
The full recommendations of Defence for Children Palestine are listed here:
For more information: