Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS
Agenda item 67: Promotion and protection of the rights of children ( continued)
In the absence of Mr. Butagira (Uganda), Mr. Anshor (Indonesia), Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Agenda item 67: Promotion and protection of the rights of children ( continued) (A/60/175 and Corr.1, 207, 282 and 335)
14. Mr. Abusif (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) highlighted the gross violations of the rights of the child that continued to occur, and emphasized that reuniting child refugees with their families was key to preventing the forcible conscription of child soldiers in areas of armed conflict. The international community’s efforts had fallen short of its commitments in recent years, and grave violations of the rights of the child, including violence, prostitution and pornography, continued. Child labour remained a widespread phenomenon and many countries were not taking sufficient measures in that regard, notwithstanding that most countries had ratified ILO Convention No. 182. In Palestine, children were harassed by Israeli soldiers, and were deprived of adequate housing, regular schooling and sufficient health care, in violation of international instruments on the rights of the child. In Africa, children faced armed conflict, poverty, malnutrition, rape and AIDS.
77. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that every year millions of children were suffering the consequences of armed conflict. Palestinian children knew all too well the grave effects of armed conflict, and in particular of foreign occupation, since Israel’s 38-year occupation had robbed them of their most basic human rights, including the right to life and personal security. The impact had been not only on their immediate physical integrity and mental health but also on their future well-being, safety and development. The intensification of the occupying Power’s military aggression in the past five years had resulted in a dramatic deterioration in the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, causing even more harm and suffering for Palestinian children. In the past five years more than 800 children had been killed by the Israeli occupation forces and thousands had been injured, many of them suffering permanent disabilities. The overwhelming majority had been killed while sleeping in their homes, playing in the street or sitting in their classrooms. Others had been killed while protesting against the occupation or engaging in symbolic acts of resistance, such as stone-throwing. They had also been victims of crimes and abuses by armed illegal settlers, and on innumerable occasions had been brutally beaten, terrorized and even killed by Israeli settlers, whose crimes continued to go unpunished.
78. Palestinian children continued to be denied an adequate standard of living, basic health care and even access to food and education. They had been irreparably traumatized and scarred, forced to live in constant fear, insecurity and turmoil. While the most obvious form of violence was direct physical harm, indirect violence had also had a devastating social and psychological traumatic effect, resulting in fear, anger and depression stemming from the constant sound of bullets and tank fire, the demolition and destruction of their homes and the death of their loved ones. The ideals enshrined in “A world fit for children” could not exist under a military occupation which infringed every aspect of their lives.
79. Urgent efforts must be undertaken to bring an end to that situation and to bring hope to their lives. Her delegation expressed its concern that the report of the Special Representative for children in armed conflict had continued to ignore their suffering, and called upon his Office to make every possible effort to give the situation of Palestinian children the attention it warranted. Her delegation would be resubmitting the draft resolution adopted at the previous session entitled “The situation of and assistance to Palestinian children”, which it trusted would receive overwhelming support. The reality on the ground required that the Committee should send a clear, strong message of hope to Palestinian children by adopting it by consensus.
The meeting rose at 5.20 p.m.
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.