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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceThe Committee reiterates its deepest concern that children on both sides of the conflict continue to be killed and injured, children living in the OPT being disproportionately represented among the victims. The Committee expresses serious concerns that hundreds of Palestinian children have been killed and thousands injured over the reporting period as a result of the State party military operations, especially in Gaza, where the State party proceeded to air and naval strikes on densely populated areas with a significant presence of children, thus disregarding the principles of proportionality and distinction.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

Much of the report from Israel revolves around the territories occupied by Israel and the resulting devastating child rights situation in those territories. Additional children are dying and being injured as a result of the armed conflict, and infrastructure in Israel and the occupied territories is being destroyed, limiting the availability of health care and education.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee recommends that the State party reconsider the model of parental choice and establish a formal process, with strict procedural safeguards, designed to assess and determine the best interests of the child with disabilities and ensure that the right of children with disabilities to be heard and have their views taken into account is fully respected in this process. The Committee further recommends that Israel develop a comprehensive national strategy on children with disabilities with the view to expanding inclusive education to all children who could benefit from it. Particular attention should be paid to children in the most disadvantaged situations, among them children with autism. Israel should also ensure the provision of adequate human, financial and technical resources for schools to effectively provide inclusive education for children with disabilities.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee reminds the State party that all children involved in or directly affected by international migration are entitled to the enjoyment of their rights. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party to guarantee the right for all asylum-seeking children and children of migrant workers to access public education and health services and ensure coordination among responsible government actors with the view to protecting and adequately supporting these children.Israel should develop and enact as a matter of priority a national legal framework to regulate the Israeli asylum procedure, including the principle of non-refoulement, and repeal the provisions of the Anti-Infiltration Law which allow for the prolonged detention of children. The Committee further recommends to take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery, as well as social reintegration of child victims of any form of neglect, exploitation, abuse, torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Additionally, the Committee recommends to conduct individual assessments and evaluations of the best interests of the child at all decision stages of the migration process affecting children, and with the involvement of child protection professionals, the judiciary as well as children themselves. Primary consideration should also be given to the best interests of the child in any proceeding resulting in the child’s or their parents’ detention, return or deportation.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

To guarantee every child the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to ensure that all children enjoy this right without discrimination. The Committee also recommends that the State party guarantee safe and unconditional access by all children and pregnant women living in the OPT to health services, including emergency medical care, and ensure the availability of adequate medical supplies and trained personnel. This recommendation also applies to Bedouin children in the Negev. The Committee urges the State party to cease its attacks against hospitals and medical facilities and to urgently allow entry into Gaza of all the necessary material for the reconstruction of medical infrastructure and to ensure timely transfer without delay of all children and pregnant mothers in need of medical care outside the OPT. The Committee also urges the State party to adopt immediate measures for the restoration of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services and ensure unimpeded access of humanitarian agencies which provide those services until the restoration is completed.

Relation to other countries
Impacts of climate change

The Committee is concerned about the critical water shortage faced by Palestinian children and their families and by Bedouin children in the Negev due to prohibitions of access to natural resources, restrictions on water utilization and destruction of water services including traditional cistern-based water infrastructure essential for maintaining the Bedouin people’s nomadic and agricultural way of life.

Business sector

The Committee emphasizes that the illegal long-lasting occupation of Palestinian territory (OPT) and the Syrian Golan Heights, the continued expansion of unlawful settlements and construction of the Wall into the West Bank as well as land confiscation, destruction of houses and livelihood of Palestinians constitute severe and continuous violations of the rights of Palestinian children and their families, feed the cycle of humiliation and violence and jeopardize a peaceful and stable future for all children of the region.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee strongly urges the State party to guarantee that juvenile justice standards apply to all children without discrimination and that trials are conducted in a prompt and impartial manner, in accordance with minimum fair trial standards. The Committee also urges the State party to dismantle the institutionalized system of detention and use of torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian children at all stages of the judicial procedure. All those who have been involved in this illegal system should be brought to justice and punished if found guilty. The Committee also urges the State party in particular that it review and amend all laws that allow the sentencing of Palestinian children to 20 years of prison for having thrown stones, remove from detention all children that are held there for this reason, ensure that detained children have effective access to an independent judicial review of the legality of their arrest and detention within 24 hours of their arrest, are provided with adequate free and independent legal assistance immediately after their arrest, and can contact their parents or close relatives. Israel should also ensure that children accused of having committed security offences are only detained as a measure of last resort, in adequate conditions in accordance with their age and vulnerability and for the shortest possible period of time. In case of doubt on having reached the age of criminal responsibility, children have to be presumed to be below this age. In addition, the Committee recommends to ensure that all confessions written in Hebrew and signed or adopted by a Palestinian child be rejected as evidence by the courts and that decisions are no longer made solely on the basis of confessions from children as well as that Israel ensure that all detained Palestinian children are separated from adults and are held in appropriate conditions and with access to education in facilities located in the OPT.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned that, when regulating surrogate motherhood arrangements, the State party has paid insufficient attention to the rights and interests of children born as a result of assisted reproduction technologies, particularly with the involvement of surrogate mothers.

Additional background

The Committee takes into account the national security concerns of the State party. More information about education in Israel:

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022