Geneva (26 May 2021) – The Committee on the Rights of the Child joins the declaration of the Secretary General of the United Nations that “Israeli & Palestinian leaders have a responsibility beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.”
Beyond the unacceptable and tragic loss of more than 60 children’s lives, the recent hostilities have had long-lasting material and mentally traumatic consequences on many children and their families. More than 600 children have been injured. The Committee considers that the first priority, beyond the consolidation of the ceasefire, is to provide children with protection, mental health support and meet their basic and urgent needs.
In the longer term, the Committee strongly urges Israel and Palestine, and the entire international community, to work with determination to seek a negotiated, balanced and sustainable peace. Both Israel and Palestine are States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and have an obligation to uphold their commitments to the human rights of children. As such, Ms. Mikiko Otani, Chair of the Committee on the Rights of the Child emphasizes that “they must respect rules of international humanitarian law applicable to children in armed conflict and take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.”