oPt

DCI-Palestine Annual Report 2008

Attachments

Introduction

Palestinian children live and grow up in a precarious and unsafe environment. Their basic rights are violated on a daily basis by the policies and practices of the Israeli military and civil occupation of Palestinian occupied territory, and with time their situation has been growing worse and worse.

On the other hand, the lack of rule of law and security chaos on the Palestinian level also creates obstacles for children to fully enjoy their rights. Furthermore, harmful and restrictive attitudes and behaviours towards children within some spheres of Palestinian society represent yet another challenge to child rights.

DCI-Palestine's mission is to contribute towards changing this reality. Our vision is a Palestinian community fit for all children. In line with this vision, DCI-Palestine strives to promote and protect the rights of Palestinian children in accordance with local, regional and international standards, and in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Now in its sixteenth year, DCI-Palestine has long become a leading child rights actor in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) and endeavours to maintain that position through continuous improvement of its goals, strategies and focus as well as ongoing development of its institutional capacity to carry out its programmes towards achievement of its mission and vision.

In order to achieve a Palestinian community fit for all children, like other child rights actors, DCI-Palestine believes that first and foremost a protective environment for children in schools, homes and the wider community must be created. DCI-Palestine recognises that creating such an environment involves working on many levels in different thematic areas, and with many different stakeholders - both local and international. These include policy-makers, civil society, media, legislators, parents, teachers, law enforcement agencies, and last but not least, children. In addition, third States and international institutions, such as the UN, are also important child rights stakeholders. Accordingly, they are also targeted by DCI-Palestine for their role in holding Israel to account for its child rights violations, policies and practices as key duty-bearer of Palestinian children's rights.

On the other hand , we work on monitoring and documenting child rights violations towards strengthening the role of law and Palestinian Authority's role in protecting the rights of the Palestinian children through the work on law reform.

DCI-Palestine also recognises that the occupied Palestinian territories is an ever-changing, unstable and complex context and thus, in order to know how to strengthen protection for children here, frequent analyses of the situation as well as needs assessments prior to intervention are required.

In order to contribute to a more protective environment for children in the oPt, DCI-Palestine has developed a holistic approach that seeks to bring structural change on the level of legislation, policy and practice. It implements five programmes - Child Justice, Accountability, Child Protection, Child Participation, and Civil Society for Child Rights. These programs are complementary and include many cross-cutting issues, allowing for synergy for a stronger overall impact. Their specific objectives constitute DCI-Palestine's strategic and institutional objectives for the coming years.

Despite all the challenges, DCI-Palestine continues to believe and trust in the impact it can have to improve the lives of Palestinian children. DCI-Palestine is a learning organization committed to ongoing institutional and programme development, in order to increase and reinforce the impact of its work towards effectively protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian children.