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Unfortunately the bitter truth is that just as much as international human rights principles (regardless of place, gender, race and religion, and based on human dignity that require respect and observation) have been accepted by a significant part of all states of the world and thus become universal, human rights are violated to the same extent in all corners of the world, regardless of development levels, political systems and human rights commitments.
As a nongovernmental organization active in various human rights fields the ODVV wishes to draw the attention of public opinion towards a number of instances of human rights violations around the world, particularly countries that lay claim to custodianship and promoters of human rights.
Human Rights situation in the Palestinian Occupied Territories
We associate ourselves with The United Nations Special Committee on Israeli Practices in the Occupied Territories which has expressed serious concern about the treatment of Palestinian children in detention by Israeli security forces, and warned that a pattern of detaining and mistreating children “links to broader, longstanding concerns regarding Israel detention of Palestinians generally".
According to the Committee's report, “Witnesses informed the Committee that mistreatment of Palestinian children starts from the moment of detention,” said Ambassador Palitha T.B. Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, and Chairperson of the Committee, at the end of a fact-finding visit to Amman, Cairo and the Gaza Strip.
Ambassador Kohona explained that parents are not allowed to accompany the detainees, and that family members are insulted, intimidated and at times physically assaulted. According to witnesses, the detention and transfer of children can last for hours, and can often include stops in Israeli settlements, Israeli checkpoints and police or military bases.1
This situation also has been considered by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, who has brought the issue under consideration and has declared: “Israel’s use of solitary confinement against children flagrantly violates international human rights standards,”
While expressing his outrage that Israel even imposes solitary confinement punitively on child hunger strikers, he has reaffirmed that “Using solitary confinement as a punishment for Palestinian children who wish to peacefully protest their situation, including by commencing a hunger strike against conditions of detention, is an appalling abuse of child prisoners.”
“This pattern of abuse by Israel is grave,” the Special Rapporteur stressed. “It is inhumane, cruel, degrading, and unlawful, and, most worryingly, it is likely to adversely affect the mental and physical health of underage detainees.”2