This mapping report aims to outline existing approaches to child protection within UNRWA programmes and operations, as well as examine and analyze opportunities, challenges and potential means to strengthen these.
CHILD PROTECTION IN THE PALESTINE REFUGEE CONTEXT
Palestine refugee children are exposed to considerable child protection challenges including: physical and emotional violence, sexual abuse, child marriage, detention, child labor, political violence and conflict. In the Palestine refugee context poverty, insufficient livelihood and employment opportunities, and overcrowded living conditions are just some of the common factors which exacerbate child protection concerns in all UNRWA’s fields of operation. The ongoing instability in the region has also affected Palestine refugees with the Syria crisis displacing children and families to neighboring countries. Significant numbers of Palestine refugee children in Syria have either lost both or one of their parents due to either death or disappearance. While in the latest hostilities in Gaza an estimated 519 children have been killed, more than a third of the total number of civilian fatalities. UNICEF estimates 1500 children having been orphaned as a result of the recent fighting.21 The significant range, scale and highly complex nature of child protection concerns facing Palestine refugee children, underscores the critical need for UNRWA to delineate and realize the Agency’s commitment to child protection.