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UN Secretary-General's report to the Security Council considers child detention
[15 June 2015] – The UN Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict  dated 5 June 2015 is now publicly available. The report will be presented to the Security Council in New York on 18 June 2015. 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.
In the introduction to the report the UN Secretary-General confirms that: “[A]ll information presented in the present report and its annexes has been documented, vetted and verified for accuracy by the United Nations”.
For the third consecutive year, 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. On this issue the report states as follows:
  • Palestinian children continued to be arrested and detained by the Israeli security forces and prosecuted in juvenile military courts. According to the Israeli Prison Service, 151 children between 14 and 17 years of age were in Israeli military detention for alleged security violations at the end of December. A monthly average of 188 children were in Israeli military custody.  
  • The United Nations obtained the affidavits of 122 Palestinian children from the West Bank, who had been detained by the Israeli security forces, in which they stated that they had been subjected to ill-treatment, such as beatings, being hit with sticks, being blindfolded, being kicked and being subjected to verbal abuse and threats of sexual violence. At least 700 children were arrested in East Jerusalem, 70 of whom were under the age of 13 years. The United Nations received 18 affidavits from Palestinian children reporting ill-treatment by the Israeli police and the border police.
  • Since February, IDF Central Command for the West Bank have implemented a pilot summons procedure to halt the practice of night arrests and tackle some of the protection issues. There are concerns regarding the delivery of summonses at night, arrests following appearance at police stations and reports of violations during the interrogation process.
On 10 June 2015, MCW submitted 200 cases to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment confirming UNICEF’s 2013 conclusion that ill-treatment in the military detention system appears to be “widespread, systematic and institutionalized”. The submission concludes by requesting the Special Rapporteur to consider two issues for further inquiry:
  1. Verification that the evidence supports the conclusion that the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system still appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized; and

  2. Confirmation of a causative link between the policy of successive Israeli governments of transferring parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies and the detention of Palestinian minors.