Palestinian children in military custody


MPs welcome independent report on Palestinian children in military custody

Members of the UK Parliament have welcomed the publication yesterday of a hard-hitting report by senior British lawyers on the treatment of Palestinian children under Israeli military law.

The report – funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – found that Israel is in breach of a series of articles under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

A parliamentary motion has been tabled in the House of Commons today welcoming the report and calling on the Foreign Secretary to act to ensure Israel complies in practice with international law relating to the treatment of children.

The motion was tabled by Richard Burden MP, who chairs the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), and has been signed by over 30 MPs from across six political parties.

Many members of the Britain-Palestine APPG have visited Israel and the West Bank in the last two years and observed the trials of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts. They have been raising this issue in Parliament and pressing government ministers to take action.

Richard Burden MP, Chair of the Britain-Palestine APPG, said:

“Anyone who reads this very thorough report will see it is clear the lawyers involved are not trying to push any agenda. They have been cautious – but their conclusions are clear.

“The report shines a spotlight on the treatment of Palestinian children under Israeli military law. Things like the shackling of children are wrong and – whatever your views on Israel, Palestine and the future of the Middle East – it is important that we say so.

“Along with many other parliamentary colleagues I have visited the military courts in Israel and met Palestinian children who have been through Israeli jails. We have been raising these issues in Parliament over the last two years.

“I am very pleased the Foreign Office recognises the importance of these issues and funded this report. But these things are still happening. We need actions as well as words from the British Government, the European Union and the wider international community to ensure that Israel complies in practice with international law.”

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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