Comparative graph
Fact sheet
About us
Bookmark and Share
  change font size تصغير الخط تكبير الخط print
Home » Public statements »

UN Secretary-General's Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict
[13 July 2014] – On 1 July 2014, the UN Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict was presented to the Security Council in New York. The report highlights global trends regarding the impact of armed conflict on children in 23 locations, including Israel and Palestine. The annual report provides information on grave violations committed against children during armed conflict and progress made by parties on dialogue, action plans and other measures to halt and prevent violations against children.
For the second year in a row, the UN has included in the report a section on the treatment of children in Israel’s military detention system in the West Bank, focusing on the arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention stages. In 2013, the UN documented 107 cases representing 15 per cent of the total number of children detained by the Israeli military during the year, and found evidence of “cruel and degrading ill-treatment” in every case. According to the UN, this abuse included: painful restraints, blindfolding, strip-searching, verbal and physical abuse, solitary confinement and threats of violence. It should be noted that in 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture called for a complete ban on the use of solitary confinement on children after concluding that the treatment can amount to torture. For the second year in a row, the UN notes that many children from the West Bank continue to be transferred to prisons inside Israel in violation of article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which also constitutes a war crime under article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
When compared with the data presented in the UN report for 2012, there was no improvement in regards to the percentage of children reporting cruel and degrading treatment.
 Secretary-General’s Reports on Children and Armed Conflict – 2012 and 2013
Solitary confinement
Arrested at night
Threat of sexual violence
This latest evidence presented to the UN Security Council also suggests there has been little substantive improvement in the way children are treated in the system since UNICEF published the report – Children in Israeli Military Detention - in March 2013. Following a review of over 400 affidavits, UNICEF concluded that “[T]he ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.”
The Secretary-General’s report notes that there has been regular bilateral dialogue between the United Nations (UNICEF) at the field level and the Military Prosecutor for the West Bank, which has produced a number of results. The results referred to are:
  1. Agreement from the Israeli military to pilot test the use of summonses in lieu of night arrests. However, according to the UN Secretary-General, “incidents have occurred where children were threatened while being summoned, and other summons were presented during night raids.”  

  2. Two Military Orders were issued in relation to children arrested and detained for alleged security violations. The orders reduced the time a Palestinian child could be detained prior to appearing before a military court judge for the first time; however,  the Secretary-General notes that “the time periods provided in military law are still longer than what is provided to Israeli children under Israeli law”.
Finally, it should be noted that the “regular bilateral dialogue” referred to by the Secretary-General is taking place between UNICEF and the Military Prosecutor for the West Bank who resides in a settlement constructed in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. This raises a number of serious issues of concern that have been brought to the attention of UNICEF.