Adolescence is a time for first love, skipping school, Scout trips, exams, arguments with your parents, and especially – sleeping. Sleeping at home, in bed, with your head on the pillow, and dreaming.
Adolescents aren’t meant to be taken from the home in the middle of the night. They’re not meant to be alone in prison. They’re not meant to be interrogated with no parents or lawyers present. They’re not meant to be shackled and have their eyes covered.
But if the adolescents are Palestinian, this is their reality. There’s a high likelihood Palestinian adolescents will find themselves undergoing traumatic arrest, with far-reaching and severe repercussions.
At any given moment, Israel holds about 200 Palestinian minors in prison. Every year, thousands are arrested, including children younger than 15, including some children aged 12-13. Imagine a hundred classrooms filled with (slightly noisy) kids, on the cusp of adolescence: they are now at the very point in which trust in others, personal security and political consciousness are being formed, and this picture, full of hopes and aspirations for the future, is being destroyed every night. We must change this reality.
And now – we need your support, your help, your partnership.
Over the last months we’ve put together an action plan, and in order to implement it we need community and financial resources. We need you to work with us. You can support us through a one-time donation, or on a regular basis. A few dozens of Shekels every month will make all the difference in the world, and will allow us to take action all year long in order to give the children back their hopes and dreams. Join us. Together we can end child detention.
When it comes to Israeli children, Israel understands that arrest is to be avoided at almost all costs; but when it comes to Palestinian children, the laws, conventions, safeguards and rules do not apply. Most Palestinian minors are arrested over the course of night raids by soldiers bursting into their homes. They are faced with threats, physical and verbal violence, and may be interrogated without the accompaniment of their parents or a lawyer; sometimes no one knows where they are for days on end. Most Palestinian children are arrested on suspicion of stone-throwing.
Three years ago, we founded Parents Against Child Detentions in order to expose the practice of Palestinian minor detention and in order to restrict the abuse of their rights and the undermining of the central legal principle – the good of the child. Over the last years, we’ve succeeded in raising the issue to the public discourse using extremely limited means. We’ve held several events, shows and exhibitions, conferences, and meetings with decision-makers and politicians. We’ve put together taskforces of experts from the fields of law, mental health and education. We’ve held the first conference of its kind in the Knesset about Palestinian child detention. We’ve presented requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act. And now, we’re ready for the next stage.
In the coming year, we’re planning a series of special steps, aimed at:
· Pressuring the decision-makers at different levels to stop the practice of night arrests
· Implementing the principles of the International Children Rights Convention (which Israel has signed) – and this time implementing it for all children under Israel’s control
· Establishing (soon!) the “Parents Council” - a body of parents to give us real, unbending, moral backing and to stand behind our demands. The bigger our numbers – the greater our legitimacy (for more information about the Parents Council, see our Updates page).
#No_child_left_behind – but to ensure this, we need resources, and the active support of families and people who believe in our values.
Join our community and lend us a hand! Donate now, with a one-time donation or a regular donation, big or small, whatever suits your means. And even if you can’t donate now – please share and invite friends to support us. Together we will put an end to child detentions.
*Since June 2020, PACD has been functioning under the legal and organizational auspices of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), as an autonomous project. PACD has a designated bank account with PCATI’s account so that income intended for us arrives under supervision and oversight. The two organizations work together in coordination, full disclosure, and in close cooperation.