File:Children in Military Custody.pdf
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Children in Military Custody
In September 2011 a UK delegation of 9 lawyers, from the fields of human rights, crime and child welfare, traveled to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to assess the treatment of Palestinian children under Israeli military law. The objective of the group was to produce an independent report founded on the principles of the rule of law and children’s rights. A substantial and balanced body of relevant information was collated. The delegation met with various key parties, including Israeli Government departments and the military, Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, UN agencies, former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian children. They also visited the military courts at Ofer Prison outside Jerusalem and observed proceedings involving children.
The project was funded by the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which also provided diplomatic support throughout the visit, on the shared understanding that the delegation was to be entirely independent. The content, conclusions and recommendations of the report are accordingly the delegation’s own.
Extract from the report executive summary
On the basis solely of legal differentials, we have concluded that Israel is in breach of 7. articles 2 (discrimination), 3 (child’s best interests), 37(b) (premature resort to detention), (c) (non-separation from adults), (d) (prompt access to lawyers), and 40 (use of shackles) of the UNCRC. Transportation of child prisoners into Israel is in breach of article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Failure to translate Military Order 1676 from Hebrew is a violation of article 65 of the same convention.
If the manner of arrest and detention is to any significant extent that which was described to us by the UN, Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian children, Israel will also be in breach of the prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in article 37(a) of the UNCRC. With regard to what is set out in paragraph 101 of our report, we record our view that to hold children routinely and for substantial periods in solitary confinement would, if it occurred, be capable of amounting to torture in breach not only of article 37(a) but also of other well-known international instruments.
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