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UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


HR/4624
4 October 2002

Round-up

COMMITTEE ON RIGHTS OF CHILD CONCLUDES THIRTY-FIRST SESSION

Recommendations Adopted on Argentina, United Kingdom, Seychelles,
Sudan, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, Burkina Faso, Poland and Israel

(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 4 October (UN Information Service) -- The Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded its thirty-first session today, having considered reports of 9 States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  As the Convention's monitoring body, the Committee made recommendations for the promotion and protection of children in Argentina, the United Kingdom, the Seychelles, the Sudan, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Burkina Faso, Poland and Israel.

The recommendations of the Committee's 10 members were contained in the final report for the session which was adopted today.

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Final Conclusions and Observations on Country Reports

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ISRAEL

As part of positive aspects in the initial report of Israel, the Committee welcomed the establishment and work of the Rotlevy Committee on Children and the Law, and various parliamentary committees dedicated to advancing the rights of children, including the Committee on Legislation for Children, and the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of the Child; the enactment of progressive legislation, including the 2002 Law for the Mentioning of Information regarding the Influence of Legislation on Children's Rights; and the affirmative action programmes for education of Israeli-Arabs, among other things.

On factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention, the Committee said that in the present context of violence, it recognized the difficulties of the State party to fully implement the Convention.  Amid continuing acts of terror on both sides, especially the deliberate and indiscriminate targeting and killing of Israeli civilian, including children, by Palestinian suicide-bombers, the Committee recognized the climate of fear which persisted, and Israel's right to live in peace and security.  And at the same time, the Committee recognized that the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, the bombing of civilian areas, extra-judicial killings, the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces, the demolition of homes, the destruction of infrastructure, mobility restrictions, and the daily humiliation of Palestinians continued to contribute to the cycle of violence.

The Committee said it was concerned that discrimination, contrary to article 2 of the Convention, persisted in the State party, and that non-discrimination was not expressly guaranteed constitutionally.  In particular, the Committee was concerned about discrimination against girls and women; discrimination on religious grounds; inequalities in the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights of Israeli Arabs, Bedouins, Ethiopians and other minorities; and of the rights and freedoms of Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories.  It recommended that the State party take effective measures, including enacting or rescinding legislation to ensure that all children enjoy all the rights set out in the Convention.

The Committee welcomed Israel's many efforts to prevent and combat all forms of violence and abuse within the family, in schools and other institutions which cared for children.  It recommended that the State party establish a national and comprehensive strategy to prevent and combat violence and abuse.

The Committee was deeply concerned about the serious deterioration of health and health services and access to education of children in the occupied Palestinian territory.  It was also seriously concerned about the impact of terrorism on the rights of children in Israel, as well as the impact of military action on the rights of the children in the occupied Palestinian territory.  It recommended that the State party and other non-State actors establish and strictly enforce rules of engagement for military and other personnel which would fully respect the rights of children.

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For information media - not an official record