[RAMALLAH, 31 March 2010] - At the end of March, Palestinian child rights organization, Defence for Children International
- Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine) will have completed the first year of the EU-funded project "Promoting and protecting the rights of Palestinian children affected by armed conflict and occupation". Through this three-year project, the European Union is supporting DCI - Palestine in strengthening its capacity for monitoring and documenting child rights violations related to the occupation and armed conflict, as well as carrying out initiatives to raise community awareness about the rights of children in armed conflict and under occupation. The project also provides legal representation and advice for Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons.
The overall objective of the action, which began on 1 April 2009, is to contribute to reducing the number of Palestinian children directly and indirectly affected by the Israel/Palestine conflict. For the first project year, DCI received €159,941 of the €600,000 the European Union has pledged for the implementation of the project.
These funds have enabled DCI-Palestine to enhance its child rights violations monitoring and documentation system, develop a contextualised training manual on the rights and issues of children in armed conflict and under occupation, with a focus on the relevance of the UNCRC Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, and to provide legal representation for 277 Palestinian children held in Israeli prisons.
During the next two years, the project funding will continue to support the legal representation of child detainees, provide capacity-building for DCI staff and will finance the opening of a working station in Gaza for DCI-Palestine's child rights monitoring fieldworkers. Other project expected outcomes for the next two years include further improvement of our evidence collection capacities and the design, production and dissemination of awareness raising material on children in Israeli detention, among other things.
For further information on the EU's assistance to DCI-Palestine, please contact Veronica Naranjo, Project Manager.