Defend the rights of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention
We, the undersigned, are social workers, social care workers, social work students and social work academics (both current and retired) in the UK and support the Palestine-UK Social Work Network’s campaign to uphold the rights of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system, in accordance with international human rights treaties and international law.
We belong to an international profession defined by principles of social justice, human rights and collective responsibility (International Federation of Social Workers, 2014), and support the values of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Code of Ethics:
- Social work is based on respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Social workers have a responsibility to promote social justice (BASW, 2014)
As these values and principles pertain to all people, and we are an international profession, we have a duty to speak out in respect of Palestinian children who are suffering abuse and the denial of their rights.
500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are detained by the Israeli military each year. The abuse they experience has been documented by Defense for Children International (dci-palestine.org), in the UNICEF report, Children in Israeli Military Detention: Observations and Recommendations, and in Children in Military Custody by a delegation of British lawyers.
We invite the Israeli Union of Social Workers to use their influence on behalf of Palestinian children, and to join us in calling on the Israeli Government to implement in full the recommendations of No Way To Treat A Child (DCI, 2016), including that all interrogations must be audio-visually recorded and that children must:
- not be subjected to physical or psychological violence
- have access to legal consultation and parents prior to and during interrogations
- only be arrested during daylight hours
- not be blindfolded or painfully restrained
- not be subjected to coercive force or threats.