Protecting Palestinian children from political violence: the role of the international community
Jason Hart, Claudia Lo Forte
Drawing on extensive field and desk research, this policy brief considers the role of international and UN organisations in protecting Palestinian children. Four distinguishing features of a rights-based approach to child protection are identified: the prioritisation of child protection over national self-interest, a focus on causes and not merely effects, the need for political engagement around international legal standards, and the mobilisation of public opinion. The report concludes that international and UN organisations have allowed their protection efforts to stray a significant distance from this approach. It traces such divergence through consideration of conceptual, institutional and political factors. While the study specifically considers the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it has important implications for child protection efforts elsewhere: raising questions about the consequences of, for example, an avowedly de-politicised, technocratic approach; institutional hierarchies; and the increasingly close and dependent relationship of child protection organisations to governmental donors.