Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

15 April 1997


Conscientious Objection to Military Service, Follow-Up to Human Rights
1993 Conference, Human Rights Defenders Discussed

(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 14 April (UN Information Service) -- The Commission on Human Rights concluded this evening a lengthy discussion of the rights of children and then briefly took up agenda items on conscientious objection to military service and follow-up measures to the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.


Statements in Debate


FRANCES MOORE, of International Save the Children Alliance, said children throughout the world were increasingly forgotten when practices or situations which were harmful to the population as a whole were considered. Such was the situation of Palestinian children in the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Restricted movement imposed through closures over the last year had had adverse effects on children. These had included deterioration in children's diets and an increase in child labour. The impact of the closure on education had been particularly severe, while the provision of health care had become increasingly difficult. All Special Rapporteurs, both country-specific and thematic, including the Special Rapporteur on the situation in the occupied territories, should see as an explicit element in their mandate the consideration of children and their rights.


MANUEL SANZ, of Pax Romana, said illicit transfers of children, and maltreatment, forced labour, and sexual exploitation of children deserved greater response. In Mexico, minors were detained and often maltreated in detention centres; sometimes they were kept in centres for adults; sometimes they had to watch their parents being tortured; in Colombia, minors were improperly detained; in addition, there were situations of concern involving detained children in Israeli-occupied Palestine, in Bahrain, and in China. ...


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