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Canada responds to unlawful transfer question

[5 April 2018] –On 8 December 2015, MCW wrote to Canada’s then representative in Ramallah, Ms. Katherine Verrier-Fréchette, about Canada’s legal obligations under Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention in relation to Israel’s policy of transferring Palestinian child detainees out of the West Bank in violation of Article 76 of the Convention. Article 76 prohibits the transfer and detention of protected persons outside occupied territory.

On 27 March 2018, Canada’s replacement representative in Ramallah, Mr. Douglas Scott Proudfoot replied stating that “Children’s rights are a top concern of our foreign policy”. However, Mr. Proudfoot did not articulate what steps Canada has taken to fulfill its positive legal obligation imposed under Article 146 of the Convention. It is currently estimated that around 400 Palestinian child detainees are unlawfully transferred out of the West Bank each year under a policy that is classified as a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Official responses to this issue have also been received from the UK, US and Norway. MCW is still awaiting responses from the EU, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland and Croatia - all members of the EU Children and Armed Conflict sub-cluster in Israel/Palestine.